What powers are denied to Congress?


Quick Answer

The powers denied to Congress are enumerated in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States. A key provision necessary for passing the original Constitution was a compromise between the free and slave states. In that section of the Constitution, Congress was prevented from interfering with the slave trade until at least 1808.

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What powers are denied to Congress?
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Full Answer

Other powers denied to Congress include suspending the writ of habeas corpus, except in the event of rebellion or invasion. This prevents a person from being held against his will without just cause and judicial oversight. Congress is also prevented from enacting any ex post facto laws or passing a bill of attainder.

Ex post facto laws are enacted retroactively and are designed to penalize someone for something that is not illegal at the time the act is committed. A bill of attainder is a law designed to have a negative impact on a single person or a group of people.

Congress is denied the power to tax goods that are shipped from one state to another. Congress cannot give a commercial advantage to one state over another. Originally, the Constitution precluded Congress from levying an income tax. A subsequent amendment to the Constitution granted this power to Congress.

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