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Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution

From Academic Kids

Amendment XXI (the Twenty-first Amendment) of the United States Constitution ended Prohibition. It was passed by Congress on February 20, 1933 and ratified on December 5, 1933. This amendment was the only case, besides the initial ratification of the Constitution, in which state conventions of the people, not state legislatures, ratified the amendment.

It states:

Section 1.
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.
The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

This has been interpreted to give states essentially absolute control over grain alcohol, and many U.S. states remained "dry" (state prohibition of alcohol) long after its ratification. (Mississippi was the last, remaining dry until 1966.) Many states now delegate the authority over alcohol granted to them by this amendment to their cities and counties, which has led to many lawsuits over First Amendment rights when they have tried to revoke liquor licenses of nude dancing and other similar establishments.

Court rulings

Court rulings involving this amendment have been rare.

In May 2005, the Court decided in Granholm v. Heald (2005), by a 5-4 majority, that the 21st Amendment does not overrule the Dormant Commerce Clause with respect to alcohol sales, and states must treat in-state and out-of-state wineries equally.

External links

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