We’ve finished the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Today, we’ll consider the Eleventh Amendment.
This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.
Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
This amendment is so short and simple I thought about combining it with the 12th Amendment, but it is much longer and wouldn’t have combined well. We’ll take a look at that one in our next post.
This 11th Amendment hardly even requires any explanation at all. It protects the states against lawsuits filed by people who are not citizens of that state. If a citizen of Delaware wants to sue the state of Texas, for instance, he must file that suit in a Texas state court and not in a federal court.
Likewise, a citizen of Germany or Japan or any other foreign nation who wants to file suit against one of our states must do so in a state court of that state and not in a federal court. This is designed to protect the integrity and sovereignty of the various states.
Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:
“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”
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Interesting and practical amendment. The sovereignty and integrity of the states must be maintained.
Tell that to federal judges and Democrat politicians.