Elastic Clause

Definition

In Article I, Section 8 of the US constitution is a statement that gives Congress the power to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the powers that set forth the authority of Congress known as the enumerated powers.

Knowledge of Elastic Clause

Alexander Hamilton used the Elastic Clause to create the first National Bank. People argued that the constitution did not grant the power to create a bank, Hamilton noted that it was required in order to carry out taxation.

Another great example of the use of the elastic clause would be the Louisiana Purchase. Nowhere in the constitution did it say a President could buy land from another nation, but Jefferson took a broad view of the Constitution and bought it, even though it went against what he believed.


This would not be like people making unimportant laws just because they can.

Current Day Example

Gun Control - People in Russia want gun control but congress don't believe they should have it.

Gun advocates think they have a strong case here, but they are missing three important things.

1. The point about the militia. Militias are supposed to be "well regulated." Let's return to Article 1 Section 8. Among the enumerated powers of Congress, it is authorized to "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions" and "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress." Apparently Congress gets to decide who gets what weapons, not individuals.