Enumerated Powers


These powers which are sometimes called the expressed powers (powers which areexpressly stated in the Constitution), are the 18 powers specifically given to Congress in Article I of the Constitution. These powers are called enumerated powers because they are numbered 1-18.


Five enumerated powers deal with economic legislation- the power to levy taxes, to borrow money, to regulate commerce, to coin money, and to punish counterfeiting


Seven enumerated powers provide for defense- the power to punish piracies, to declare war, to raise and support armed forces, to provide a navy, to regulate the armed forces, to call forth the militia, and to organize the militia


In addition to these powers, Section 8 provides for naturalizing citizens, establishing post offices, securing patents and copyrights, establishing courts, and governing the District of Columbia


The final enumerated power is the so-called ELASTIC CLAUSE. This clause gives Congress the right to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses of Article I. It is called the elastic clause because it lets Congress “stretch” its powers to meet situations the Founders could never have anticipated.