- the rights belonging to the various states, especially with reference to the strict interpretation of the Constitution, by which all rights not delegated by the Constitution to the federal government belong to the states.
Origin of states' rights
- the rights and powers generally conceded to the states, or all those powers claimed for the states under some interpretations of the Constitution
- a doctrine advocating the severe curtailment of Federal powers by such an interpretation of the Constitution
Rights guaranteed to the states under the principle of federalism. Under the Constitution, states have considerable autonomy to pass, enforce, and interpret their own laws and to pursue their own public policy programs. Proponents of states' rights argue that the states should be governed with a minimum of interference from the federal government.