Reply To: The Necessary and Proper Clause


Hamilton made that distinction in his defense of the BUS in 1791. Here is a link to the text:

As for the question in the OP, this is similar to the distinction between “delegated” in the 10th Amendment and “expressly delegated” as some wanted the language to read and as it read in the Articles of Confederation.

Necessary carries the same meaning as absolutely necessary, just as delegated carries the same meaning as expressly delegated. In regard to the latter, it was argued that way. During the ratifying debates, the so-called “Necessary and Proper Clause” was one of the primary targets of Patrick Henry and other opponents. They claimed it would lead to exactly what Hamilton proposed in 1791 and were assured that the clause could never be expanded or manipulated to include powers not delegated to the Congress by the States through the Constitution. In other words, Hamilton was making this up as he went along, and was betraying his own arguments in the months leading to ratification.