The Agency Law Origins of the Necessary and Proper Clause
Robert G. Natelson
The Independence Institute
Case Western Reserve Law Review, Vol. 55, p. 243, 2004
The U.S. Constitution's Necessary and Proper Clause was based on provisions very common in Founding-Era documents that empowered agents and other fiduciaries. The clause embodied both the common law doctrine of incidental powers (by which the document conveyed unexpressed subsidiary powers meeting certain well-understood criteria), and a requirement that congressional laws enacted pursuant to incidental authority comply with certain fiduciary requirements.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 80
Keywords: constitution, necessary and proper, incidental powers, elastic clause, sweeping clause, federal power, states rights
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19
Date posted: January 4, 2012
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