Bill Text: NJ SCR75 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Post-ratifies Amendment XI to U.S. Constitution barring federal court lawsuits against states by private parties in most circumstances.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2018-06-29 - Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly State and Local Government Committee [SCR75 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SCR75-Introduced.html

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 75

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Post-ratifies Amendment XI to U.S. Constitution barring federal court lawsuits against states by private parties in most circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution post-ratifying Amendment XI to the Constitution of the United States.

 

Whereas, In 1794, the Third Congress referred to the states, without restriction upon the time to be available for its consideration, an amendment to the Constitution of the United States which reads as follows:

 

AMENDMENT XI

 

"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"; and

Whereas, Amendment XI officially became part of the Constitution of the United States on February 7, 1795, when the State of North Carolina furnished the amendment's pivotal 12th ratification, there being at the time 15 states in the United States; and

Whereas, At the time Amendment XI officially became part of the Constitution of the United States, the State of New Jersey did not take action on the amendment; and

Whereas, It is common for state legislatures to continue to act upon amendments to the Constitution of the United States well after those amendments have already received a sufficient number of ratifications in order to become enshrined in our Constitution; and

Whereas, Amendment XI stands as a bulwark of sovereign immunity, barring federal court lawsuits against states by private parties that attempt to impose civil liabilities payable from public funds, unless a state has consented to the suit or the protective cloak of the amendment has been waived by the state or stripped away by Congress; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    The Legislature of the State of New Jersey, on behalf of the State of New Jersey, does hereby post-ratify Amendment XI to the Constitution of the United States, which was passed by the Third Congress and ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states in 1795, and which is reproduced in the preamble to this concurrent resolution.

 

     2.    The Secretary of State of the State of New Jersey is directed to notify the Archivist of the United States of the action taken by the Legislature of the State of New Jersey with respect to this amendment.

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution post-ratifies Amendment XI to the Constitution of the United States.  Amendment XI bars federal court lawsuits against the states by private parties that attempt to impose civil liabilities payable from public funds, unless a state has consented to the suit or the protective cloak of the amendment has been waived by the state or stripped away by Congress pursuant to the powers granted to it by the Fourteenth Amendment.

     New Jersey was the first state to ratify the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.  In 1794, the Third Congress passed Amendment XI, which officially became part of the Constitution of the United States on February 7, 1795, when the State of North Carolina furnished the amendment's pivotal 12th ratification, there being at the time 15 states in the United States.  The State of New Jersey did not take action on the amendment.  In all, New Jersey has ratified 26 of the 27 amendments to the Constitution.  New Jersey has never ratified Amendment XI.

     Since its ratification in 1788, the Constitution of the United States has been amended 27 times.  In five instances, New Jersey ratified amendments after they were approved by the requisite number of states.  These amendments include Amendment XIII (abolition of slavery), Amendment XV (right to vote), Amendment XVI (federal income tax), Amendment XVIII (prohibition of alcohol), and Amendment XXVII (regulation of congressional salaries).  It is common for state legislatures to continue to act upon amendments to the Constitution of the United States well after ratification.  For example, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Connecticut did not ratify the Bill of Rights until 1939.  This concurrent resolution would post-ratify Amendment XI to the Constitution of the United States on behalf of the State of New Jersey.

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