The Necessary and Proper Clause – United States Constitution

This paper gives the meaning of the clause “Necessary and Proper”, and elaborates on the consequences of the ruling in 1790 by Chief Justice Marshall that still affects people to date. The U. S Congress has its specific duties and powers numbered in various areas within the constitution. The clause “Necessary and Proper” is listed among the most significant powers and it is found in Section 8 of Article 1 which, in 17 paragraphs, identifies the many essential powers that Congress has (Lawson & Miller, 2013). The meaning of “Necessary and Proper Clause” is that it gives powers to the Congress to enact all laws necessary and proper with regards to executing the preceding powers and all other powers authorized by the US Constitution. This means that the US Constitution enables the government to exercise certain powers called the enumerated powers. It is worth noting that considerations were given to various resolutions during constitutional convention regarding the enumeration of various powers. These deliberations were essential in order for the constitution to outline the kinds of powers that the government can execute. Therefore, the “Necessary and Proper Clause” was drafted for the purposes of establishing an example that laws can be made by Congress to execute authority given by the Constitution to the central government (Lawson & Miller, 2013). Read also Example of a Violation of the General Duty Clause (Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act) The clause “Necessary and Proper” enables the government to execute some essential programs; for instance, to organize and facilitate the judiciary branch. At the time when the central government of the United States was being formed, the significance of this clause was realized when it granted authority for the establishment and organization of the government (Paulsen & Paulsen, 2015). The significance of the clause can still be realized to-date because of the way it gives description of the government’s justification of authorities given under the Constitution that has had controversies in respect to interpretation. Over the years, different interpretations have been made to the clause, especially by different forces in politics and judiciary. For instance, Alexander Hamilton (secretary of the treasury) and Thomas Jefferson (secretary of state) engaged in a long debate regarding the correct interpretation of the clause “Necessary and Proper”. Jefferson proposed that too much power should be vested in one of the branches of government arguing that the term “necessary” was an adjective that was restrictive in such a way to mean essential (Lawson & Miller, 2013). Through his interpretation, he meant to give strength to the rights of states. On the other hand, Hamilton argued for the clause to be interpreted in an expansive manner. His idea was to authorize Congress to have a wide range of indirect powers. According to Lawson and Miller (2013), Hamilton’s interpretation was favored by George Washington and James Madison because of its flexibility, which subsequently led to nurturing the establishment of a powerful central government. Apparently the Necessary and Proper Clause is the most powerful clause in the Constitution of the U.S. and it was crafted to enable Congress to have the authority to organize judiciary, and facilitate the general organization of government. Basing on the principle of the Necessary and Proper Clause, Hamilton (secretary) of treasury urged Congress in the year 1790 start a private banking cooperation that could facilitate collection of tax in order to promote interstate trade, support the army, and respond to the government’s own needs of borrowing (Barden, 2011). The Supreme Court under the leadership of John Marshall confirmed that the necessary and proper clause was an indispensable strategy in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) (Barden, 2011). The Chief Justice wrote to the court upholding the US’ second bank employing the same principle that Wilson and Hamilton utilized. Marshal indicated that the federal government had the authority to establish a federal bank. He, also, indicated that the federal government could not be taxed by the states. Therefore, always, the federal government should have the power over the states. Abraham Lincoln provided a reliable example of the US presidents who have exercised their power in respect to the Necessary and Proper Clause. During the Civil War, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, a measure that escaped any form of detailed scrutiny even after provoking many controversies (McGinty, 2011). The clause allows the federal government to suspend the writ of habeas corpus without question, especially if the safety of the public needs it during times of invasion or rebellion. In conclusion, the U. S Congress has its specific duties and powers numbered in various areas within the constitution. The meaning of “Necessary and Proper Clause” is that it gives powers to the Congress to enact all laws necessary and proper with regards to executing the preceding powers and all other powers authorized by the US Constitution. The significance of the clause can still be realized to-date because of the way it gives description of the government’s justification of authorities given under the Constitution that has had controversies in respect to interpretation. The Supreme Court under the leadership of John Marshall confirmed that the necessary and proper clause was an indispensable strategy in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
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