Necessity and Propriety

I assume that every budding academic has a system for keeping track of paper ideas, since it takes far more time to execute papers than it does to conceive them.  Mine is a giant, disorganized text file of half-eaten outlines and mysterious questions and citations.  Even the text itself is a mess at this point, having been converted frequently and badly between various PC text readers and the excellent if uncooperative iOS Plaintext App.  I can’t even figure out whether to keep pouring ideas into the document (which I can’t read half the time) or start over.

If I were starting over, the next two things I’d include are two articles on the Necessary and Proper Clause, something I’ve been thinking about increasingly as I finish my forthcoming article, Rethinking The Federal Eminent Domain Power.  One article, “(Groping) Toward A Theory of The Necessary and Proper Clause,” would try to explain why the time is increasingly ripe for something like my historically-inflected theory of the Necessary and Proper Clause, and would try to provide the basic framework for operationalizing that theory.  The other, “Necessary and Proper Step Zero” would address the anterior question of when a claimed federal authority requires the implied powers of the Necessary and Proper Clause at all, and when it is part of the explicitly enumerated powers– a question that seems to be the crux of the disagreement between Ernie Young and his critics.

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