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Definition of "states' rights" [states' rights]

  • All rights not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution nor denied by it to the states. (noun-plural)
  • The political position advocating strict interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the limitation of federal powers and the extension of the autonomy of the individual state to the greatest possible degree. (noun-plural)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "states' rights" in a sentence
  • "Points of controversyPerry is a staunch advocate of states' rights and of a limited role for the federal government, views he laid out in his 2010 book, Fed Up!"
Words like "states' rights"