states' rights also States' rights (stāts)
1. All rights not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution nor denied by it to the states.
2. 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.
states' righter n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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