From the Mailbag, Installment #1

A friend and former student sent me an odd-clauses question today via facebook, and this made me think that I should start a new feature here at Odd Clauses Watch called “From the Mailbag” in which I answer you, the reader’s, questions about odd clauses.  And so, here is installment #1 of that fancy new feature!

The loyal reader asks:

Thought: Does Article One, Section 8 count as an odd clause given that it should give Congress a great deal of power that they decline to use?

The answer:

What????  What in the hell are you talking about?  Article I, Section 8 is not a “clause.”  It is a section!  My god, man [or woman, questioners shall remain anonymous and unidentified unless requested otherwise by the questioner]!  How can a whole section with like 18 separate clauses, most of which have their own subclauses, be a clause?  Now, one could ask whether various clauses within Article I, Section 8 are odd clauses–this type of question would be relevant and good and not at all insane like the question actually posed.  Indeed, two of the odd clauses I discuss in the book–the Weights and Measures Clause, and the Letters of Marque clause–are found in Article I, Section 8.  But other clauses within the section, like the Commerce Clause, now how could that possibly be odd?  Didn’t I teach you anything!!!?

There, wasn’t that fun?  Please feel free to send your “Questions to the Mailbag” to me at or by telegram.  Thank you.


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Filed under From the Mailbag, What makes a clause "odd"?

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