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Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution
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Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution

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, in pertinent part:

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The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.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

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. Most states now delegate this authority 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.

In 2004 the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether or not states were permitted to ban certain interstate shipments of alcohol. Such a ban, which is generally not permitted under the dormant Commerce Clause, is argued to be permitted under the 21st Amendment.

External links


20th Amendment Amendments
United States Constitution
22nd Amendment