states' rightsstates' rights
also States' rights
- All rights not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution nor denied by it to the states.
- 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
- (US, politics) Rights reserved to the 50 United States which supposedly allow each one to set policy on some issues, rather than being subject to federal policy.