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State Protections Against Racial Discrimination

The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, by their own terms, apply to the state governments. The Fourteenth Amendment, for example, states, “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” State constitutions and state laws can provide greater protection to prevent racial discrimination than federal constitution guarantees. Since the U. S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, no state constitution or statute can restrict the rights granted to all citizens of the United States. In other words, the federal Constitution provides the minimum level of rights to citizens in this country, and states may only raise this level rather than reduce it.

Inside State Protections Against Racial Discrimination