Enumerated and implied powers of the US federal government | Khan Academy
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Enumerated and implied powers of the US federal government | Khan Academy


– [Instructor] In this video we’re gonna focus on enumerated powers versus implied powers for
the federal government. Enumerated just means powers
that have been made explicit, that are clear, that have been enumerated, that have been listed some place while implied powers are ones
that maybe aren’t as clear, maybe they haven’t been explicitly listed but they are assumed
because of certain wording or just in order to do
the enumerated powers and this is a really important concept because in any federal system where you have multiple layers, you have the federal government, you have the state governments and of course you also
have the local governments but this idea of what powers
go to the federal government versus the state government is a super important one and it’s a matter of significant debate and it has changed over time, so to just get our base
line understanding, let’s sample some of the enumerated powers to the federal government inside of the United States Constitution. So, this right over here is
Article One, Section Eight of the United States Constitution. I’m not going to read it in its entirety, we’ll focus on some of
these powers in more detail in other videos but I will sample it and focus on some of the clauses that have been especially cited and have been especially
relevant to the world that we live in. So, just to sample, so the Congress shall have
the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, so these are very clear enumerated powers. It’s listing what the
Congress has the power to do. The Congress can borrow
money on the credit of the United States. Once again, a very clear enumerated power. To regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states and with the Indian tribes. Now, this clause right over here and this is now referred
to as the Commerce Clause might not really stand out to you, it might not stand out to you relative to the right to conduct foreign affairs or something that seems very
big and dramatic like that but it turns out that the Commerce Clause is viewed as one of
the significant clauses that gives the federal
government significant rights and it’s considered to have
really three enumerated rights embedded in it. You have the regulation of
commerce with foreign nations, the regulation of commerce
among the several states and with the Indian tribes. And it’s the middle one that is viewed as giving the federal
government a lot of power because even though it
might seem okay, well, we’re just talking about
commerce between states, it’s been used to justify
things like federal drug laws that even if a state argues hey, we are just going to
say legalize marihuana within our states, the federal government has cited that your
legalization of marihuana is going to affect commerce between states and we’ll go into more depth
in that in future videos but the Commerce Clause
is a key enumerated right that’s given in the constitution that is viewed as giving
the federal government fairly broad authority. But, let’s continue. To establish a uniform
rule of naturalization. Who becomes an American? Uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy. Keep going, I always
encourage you to look at this in context in the actual constitution. That is always interesting. The reason why I listed all of these out even though I’m not going to read them is that it’s just interesting to see how many of these
enumerated rights there are but I’m going to focus on the last clause because this one is in a lot of ways a lot bigger than all of the other ones. It says to makes 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. Pause this video. Think about why this is a
very, very, very big deal. Well, the previous 17
clauses were very explicit. They were enumerated powers about what the federal
government has the power to do but his one here is making
a much broader statement. It’s saying to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution
the foregoing powers, the enumerated powers that
were in the last 17 clauses and so, this is known as the
Necessary and Proper Clause which you will hear a lot about, Necessary and Proper and it provides for a
lot of implied powers because it’s essentially saying look, there’s things that we haven’t listed in the enumerated powers in the previous 17 clauses but the federal government has the right to make all
laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers and so, even when I was talking
about say federal drugs laws it’s really the combination
of the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause that allows the federal government to make some of these broader arguments that says okay, we regulate commerce and in order to regulate commerce we need to regulate drugs because it is necessary and proper for regulating interstate commerce, so we’re gonna talk
more and more about this especially when we look at
specific constitutional cases that will cite these clauses but it’s really important to appreciate what enumerated powers are and what implied powers are which the Necessary and Proper Clause gives a lot of and the anti-federalists really did not like this 18th clause. Understanding the ideas of
enumerated and implied powers is going to be really helpful as we study the various disputes over state versus federal powers throughout American history and how it is decided on
by say the Supreme Court when they cite the constitution and in particular cite some of the clauses that we have just looked at.

8 Comments

  • Steven Torrey

    That includes LAWS TO ABRIDGE THE RIGHT TO OWN WEAPONRY! In other words, the State can say, a weapon intended for war does NOT belong in the home arsenal!

  • Richard Smith

    Have not heard the entire video, but my question is this by what right does the federal government have to create other Departments of government when the entire ideology of the founders was a limited government. For example Dept of Education, Energy, EPA, Social Security, FBI which was created by the Executive Branch /DOJ where they had zero authority to do so. The new limited to me sounds like total control of the people, destruction of the constitution and the destruction of States rights.

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