Constitutional Law

Legislative Branch

How does the Constitution give Congress the power to impact law?

The early civics lesson taught in schools provides that the legislative branch creates laws, the executive branch enforces the laws, and the judicial branch interprets the laws. Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution explains that Congress has the power to pass laws by explaining how such laws can be passed. Article I, Section 8—the main source in the Constitution that explains Congress’ various powers—states that Congress has the power to create courts lower than the United States Supreme Court.

The last clause in Article I, Section 8—the necessary and proper clause—gives Congress much power in the area of lawmaking by providing that it can pass all laws necessary and proper to carrying out its various powers and functions. The clause states:

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 department or officer thereof.


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