The Agency Law Origins of the Necessary and Proper Clause
80 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2012
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: constitution, necessary and proper, incidental powers, elastic clause, sweeping clause, federal power, states rights
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation