The implied powers

Implied powers and the elastic clauses

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The 'necessary and proper' or elastic clause

Article I, section 8 of the Constitution it states that Congress has the power 'to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers'. This clause is also known as the 'elastic' clause because it allows Congress to stretch its powers. It has been a source of great controversy, being used to justify major expansion of the power of federal government. In McCulloch v Maryland 1819, the Supreme Court tested the necessary and proper clause and ruled that Congress has the power to create a national bank, even though the right to create a bank is not explicitly stated in the Constitution. It gave a broad interpretation using implied powers to allow Congress to act. The interstate commerce clause is often described as elastic because of the way in which it has been used to justify the expansion of federal power.

Another 'elastic clause is the Commerce Clause Article 1 section 8- This has been used to justify the government's power to regulate much of the economy.