Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Eleventh Amendment (Amendment XI) is an amendment to the United States Constitution which was passed by Congress on March 4, 1794, and ratified by the states on February 7, 1795. The Eleventh Amendment restricts the ability of individuals to bring suit against states in federal court.

The Eleventh Amendment was adopted to overrule the Supreme Court's decision in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793). In that case, the Court held that states did not enjoy sovereign immunity from suits made by citizens of other states in federal court. While the Eleventh Amendment established that federal courts do not have the authority to hear cases brought by private parties against a state of which they are not citizens, the Supreme Court has ruled the amendment to apply to all federal suits against states brought by private parties. The Supreme Court has also held that Congress can abrogate state sovereign immunity when using its authority under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment and that the Bankruptcy Clause itself abrogates state sovereign immunity in bankruptcy cases. The Supreme Court has also held that federal courts can enjoin state officials from violating federal law.


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