In this Article, I present the evidence of the original public meaning of the Necessary and Proper Clause." These findings will, of course, be of interest to originalists. But, they should also be of interest to the many constitutional scholars who consider original meaning to be one among several legitimate modes of constitutional analysis, or who consider original meaning the starting point of a process by which this meaning is translated into contemporary terms. By either account, it is important to find the correct original meaning, even if it is not dispositive of today's cases and controversies. I will show that the choice between the meanings of "necessary" inherited from John Marshall's discussion in McCulloch v. Maryland' – that of "indispensably requisite" on the one hand and merely "convenient" on the other – is undercut by the available evidence. Rather, the truth lies somewhere in between.
6 U. PA. J. Const. L. 183-221 (2003)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Barnett, Randy E., "The Original Meaning of the Necessary and Proper Clause" (2003). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 45.