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Powers Of The Constitution Essay

720 words - 3 pages

Powers of the Constitution

The national and state governments derive their respective powers from the Constitution in several ways. Some powers are explicitly stated while others are not. Understanding the various types of powers can be difficult and this essay is an attempt to clarify them.
The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." From this amendment we first learn of delegated and reserved powers. Delegated powers are those powers of the national government that are expressed or implied in the Constitution. Reserved powers, therefore, are those powers which remain. Reserved powers are a function of state law.
Delegated powers include expressed and implied powers. Expressed powers are those that are explicitly granted. Implied powers finds its basis in the necessary and proper clause of the Constitution. This clause allows Congress to make any and "all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution express powers." The necessary and proper clause is found in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. It states, "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 other department or officer thereof." The necessary and proper clause is tied closely to the supremacy clause of the Constitution. "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." The principles of necessary and proper and the supremacy clause can be seen in the landmark case McCulloch v. Maryland. The Supreme Court ruled that the state of Maryland could not tax the...

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