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Also known as the necessary and proper clause, this clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1.18 of the U.S. Constitution, which grants Congress the 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.” Legal scholars debate the extent of the authority granted to Congress under the elastic clause. One of the earliest cases in which the Supreme Court considered the extent of the elastic clause was in its decision in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) to allow Congress the authority to establish a national bank. The Court held a broad interpretation of the ...

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