Q:

How does the Elastic Clause of the Constitution function?

A:

Quick Answer

According to U.S. Legal, the Elastic Clause provides Congress with the power to pass laws that are necessary and proper for Congress to uphold its power. The Elastic Clause gives Congress implied powers, meaning powers that are not explicitly stated in the United States Constitution.

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Full Answer

According to Shmoop University, the Elastic Clause is part of Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the U.S. Constitution. It is also known as the Necessary and Proper Clause, the Basket Clause, the Coefficient Clause, and the Sweeping Clause according to U.S. Legal. This clause has been very controversial throughout United States history because it is very ambiguous, which means Congress has the ability to interpret what "necessary and proper" means and what legislation they can pass under the clause.

An example of this is Congress's powers regarding commerce. Article I of the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce; therefore, under the Elastic Clause, Congress can pass laws that are "necessary and proper" for regulating commerce. As a result, Congress created the minimum wage law under the Elastic Clause, believing it would help in regulating interstate commerce. This law and many others have sparked much political debate, as it is questioned whether they are truly "necessary and proper."

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