Eleventh Amendment

“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.”

  • “The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity,” – Referencing the action of the SCOTUS to hear any cases.
  • “commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state,” – Referring to a case brought from one state to another.
  • “or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.” – By people in a different country or territory.

The Eleventh Amendment Movement (TEAM) does a great job of explaining this amendment.  They are currently involved with a legal battle with the state of Montana and Citizens United, invoking the 11th Amendment.

To bring it down to earth:  Each state is a sovereign entity.  11A prevents the SCOTUS from jurisdictionally infringing upon decisions made in courts of other states, including a state Supreme Court.  This amendment also disallows getting another state’s court system involved in decisions or appeals where it doesn’t belong.

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