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What is the purpose of the elastic clause?

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Quick Answer

The elastic clause, also called the necessary and proper clause, was intended to provide Congress with the necessary means of passing laws in the best interest of the nation. It also helps to organize the government by giving Congress influence over other branches of government.

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Full Answer

The elastic clause was a subject of great debate prior to its ratification. Some members of Congress argued that it unfairly gave Congress unlimited powers, which defeated the purpose of the U.S. Constitution. Proponents of the bill argued that the elastic clause does not give Congress any more powers than already granted to it by the Constitution; rather, it defines them by putting into writing what was already implied.

The elastic clause was a way to make sure that Congress had the means to do what it had been charged to do through the Constitution. The clause was at the center of the debate between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton about whether or not a national bank should be established when the United States was first formed. Jefferson argued that Congress did not have the constitutional right to establish a bank that would oversee all of the finances and debt for the nation. Hamilton argued that the elastic clause gave Congress that right.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is the Necessary and Proper Clause important?

    A:

    The Necessary and Proper Clause is important because it affords Congress certain powers under the Constitution. The Necessary and Proper Clause, which is listed as Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, grants Congress the authority to establish certain financial procedures, such as tax collection and imposing debts and penalties. This clause spans the length of 17 paragraphs, which explain in detail the powers that Congress has.

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  • Q:

    Why is the "elastic clause" called this?

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    The "elastic clause" has its name because it states that the United States Congress has the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper," which refers to a loose jurisdiction. The term refers to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

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  • Q:

    What is the Supremacy Clause?

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    The Supremacy Clause is an article of the U.S. Constitution that establishes that both the federal constitution and federal laws have precedence over state laws and constitutions, according to the Legal Information Institution of Cornell University Law School. It is found in Article 7, section 2 of the Constitution.

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  • Q:

    What are four examples of the Elastic Clause?

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    Four examples of the Elastic Clause are Congress creating taxes, declaring war, issuing money and balancing states' rights with the power of the federal government. The Elastic Clause, also called the Necessary and Proper Clause, grants Congress the ability to perform several duties essential to the operation of the United States, including having oversight in issues of domestic and international affairs. The Elastic Clause gives Congress essential responsibilities, such as creating money, which impacts citizens and businesses on a daily basis.

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