Necessary and Proper: Not Anything and Everything

By: Michael Boldin

The “Necessary and Proper” clause of the Constitution is one of the most widely misunderstood – and abused in the document. Most modern federal regulations today are justified by the Necessary and Proper Clause – possibly even more than under the Commerce or general Welfare clauses. Now, here’s the irony of the situation: Far from granting “broad authority” to Congress, the truth is that the Necessary and Proper Clause grants no power at all.