Powers Denied the Government

Learn what the national and state governments are not allowed to do in the United States.

Source: The U.S. Government Printing Office
National Government State Governments

* May not violate the Bill of Rights
* May not impose export taxes among states
* May not use money from the Treasury without the passage and approval of an appropriations bill
* May not change state boundaries

* May not enter into treaties with other countries
* May not print money
* May not tax imports or exports
* May not impair obligations of contracts
* May not suspend a person's rights without due process

In addition, neither the national government nor state governments may:


  • Grant titles of nobility
  • Permit slavery (13th Amendment)
  • Deny citizens the right to vote due to race, color, or previous servitude (15th Amendment)
  • Deny citizens the right to vote because of gender (19th Amendment)

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