What are implied powers?

Implied powers are the powers granted to government and its political units, which are not stated in the Constitution. They are the result of other direct powers, where they expand the scope of their reach and authority. It is highly common around the globe for governments to possess implied powers. However, the given concept is best defined and outlined in the United States government.


The concept of implied authority is relevant for countries with strong, autonomous presidential power. It is best developed in the United States, where the status and powers of the president first began to be discussed during the breakdown of state relations with the metropolis. The Declaration of Independence of 1776, preceding the adoption of the Constitution in 1787, formulated postulates against the power of the monarch who intended to betray the American people into the power of unlimited despotism. The adopted document of 1781 delegated to Congress the authority to conclude international treaties and declare war, to resolve disputes on appeal, significantly violating the balance of power.

Presidents often resorted to the use of implied powers as tools that greatly expand their rights. Thus, President G. Truman stated that he has the inalienable power to nationalize private enterprises. On the other hand, not all implied powers play the role of mechanisms for influencing the legislature. The joint resolutions of both houses of Congress, signed by the president, demonstrate the effective result of the interaction of some part of the same functions between different authorities. The validity of the presidential powers in the United States remains controversial. The head of the executive can do whatever is dictated by the interests of the nation, unless expressly prohibited by the Constitution or the law.

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