The Elastic Clause

The Elastic Clause

"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."
          - Article 1 Section 8 Clause 18 of the United States Constitution
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Supreme Court Building
The Elastic Clause, also known as the Necessary and Proper Clause, allows Congress to do what it must to carry out its power. This clause originally proved to be a problem when the Constitution was being ratified. Many saw this clause giving the government endless power like that of a king, but many others argued that this was not the case. 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.