Prohibited Government Acts: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $68.93
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (4) from $68.93   
  • New (2) from $127.80   
  • Used (2) from $68.93   


Traces the history of, and analyzes, the current status of the law on a number of prohibited acts forbidden to the federal government as prescribed in Article I, Section 9, of the United States Constitution. Most of these represent constraints on Congress with the exception of the statement that no money may be drawn from the U.S. Treasury except by appropriation, which increases the power of Congress. The provisions include prohibitions against suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus except in cases of emergency and against passing bills of attainder and ex post facto laws. These prohibitions secure important freedoms for the citizens of the United States.

Among the other prohibitions discussed are a delay in stopping the slave trade, forbidding taxes on exports between states, forbidding giving preferences to ports of one state, and forbidding public officers from accepting things of value from foreign countries. Several of these provisions, such as those concerning bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and the writ of habeas corpus laws are the bedrock of our free society. The provision on the need for appropriations enhances the role of Congress and sets up potential conflicts between it and the other two branches of government, conflicts that might lead to highly significant cases that will help to clarify to doctrine of the separation of powers. A table of cases, bibliographic essay, and an index to enable further pursuit of key topics is included to aid students, legal, and constitutional scholars.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

JACK STARK is a legislative attorney. He is the editor of this series, Reference Guides to the United States Constitution. He is the author of The Wisconsin State Consitution (Greenwood, 1997) and The Iowa State Constitution (Greenwood, 1998).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Pt. I A History of Prohibited Government Acts 1
English Common Law 3
The Constitutional Convention 7
The Ratification Debates 13
Before the Civil War 19
The Civil War Era 21
Between the Civil War and 1950 25
The Current Era 29
Pt. II Prohibited Government Acts and Commentary 37
Clause 2: Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus 41
Clause 3: Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto Laws 53
Clause 5: Taxes on Exports 111
Clause 6: Preferences to Ports 123
Clause 7: No Money to Be Drawn from the Treasury but by Appropriation 131
Clause 8: Titles and Gifts Prohibited 157
Conclusion 163
Bibliographical Essay 165
Table of Cases 167
Index 171
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)