The New Constitution: Amendment XX – state’s rights

The New Constitution

Amendment XX

No state or local government entity shall assert special privilege or exemption with respect to established rights granted by the Federal Constitution.


In a free society there is no reasonable excuse for an unequal application of law and justice, especially based on something as arbitrary as geography. Yet the US is built on the assumption that it’s perfectly acceptable for one person to have significantly fewer rights than another person who lives less than a mile away.

The “States’ Rights” doctrine arose as a means for assuring the preservation of slavery in the original Southern states (South Carolina in particular). That it was ever accepted in our nation is a stain on our legacy that we may never scrub clean. That we continue to tolerate any state’s claim that it is somehow exempt from the duty to provide fair and equal treatment to all of its residents is unconscionable.


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4 replies »

  1. While agreeing with Sam’s amendment I don’t see it killing state’s rights, nor do I believe we want it to. It’s just saying states can not suppress rights enumerated in the Constitution and associated Bill of Rights.

    Does this amendment mean Colorado can’t legalize pot and sanction civil marriage between gays? Not a bit, Coloradans have invoked their state’s right to legally acknowledge two local mores. That the citizens of Iowa or Kansas prefer not to pass such legislation is their state’s right as well. Down the road as attitudes change both will probably go national.

    Significant change for the better often starts at local levels and we don’t want to squelch that and I don’t believe this amendment does. The feds need comeuppance once in awhile just as individual states do. Our free-wheeling no holds barred domestic spying programs present a perfect example of that.

    I might reword it slightly to remove the word granted. “No state or local government entity shall assert special privilege or exemption with respect to rights established by the Federal Constitution.”

    Grants are revocable, rights are not.

  2. Yes, please. End the abomination of states’ rights. We only have to look to the EU to see the bumper car politics that come out of a loose federation of otherwise autonomous states.