Marc Schulman

 


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Implied Powers

"The Congress shall have power ... to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof." This necessary and proper clause is used to cover any governmental action not enumerated in the Constitution. Thus, it creates implied powers. These are powers that are not stated in the Constitution, but are implied by the government's need to carry out all of its functions.

 

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The necessary and proper clause is used to cover any governmental action not enumerated in the Constitution. Thus, it creates implied powers. These are powers that are not stated in the Constitution, but are implied by the government's need to carry out its functions. Strict Constructionists argue against the more liberal interpretation of this clause, claiming that Congress does not have the power to enact anything not enumerated in the Constitution. The issue came to a head in the case of McCullogh v. Maryland. Maryland claimed that the First Bank of the United States was unconstitutional, since its creation was not called for in the Constitution. The state proceeded to tax the Bank. John Marshall, writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, ruled that the actions of Maryland were unconstitutional, since it could not tax any part of the government. The Court also held that the Bank itself was constitutional under the "necessary and proper" clause.