By Sam Baker - 03/31/12 12:00 PM EDT
What happened to the Necessary and Proper Clause?
The Constitution gives the federal government certain powers, and it also says Congress can pass laws that are “necessary and proper” to exercise those powers. That clause has become an increasingly big part of the Justice Department’s defense.
“I didn’t think that got nearly enough attention,” said Tim Jost, a Washington & Lee University law professor who supports the mandate. “They didn’t make that argument nearly as strongly as they could have.”
Five questions that could shape the court’s ruling: