Enforcement power

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Several amendments to the Constitution include the power to make laws necessary for the enforcement of Constitutional law. The first example can be found in the Thirteenth Amendment (1865), which includes the assertion that “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” Several amendments that followed used the same formula: the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-sixth.

Why it matters: The assertion of enforcement power is an addition to Article 1, Section 8 which includes the power “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.” This is referred to as the “necessary and proper” clause.

For a summary of some related Supreme Court cases, see

National Constitution Center: https://constitutioncenter.org/the-constitution/amendments/amendment-xiv/clauses/703

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_power_of_enforcement

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_power_of_enforcement

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