Twenty-First Amendment

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Twenty-First Amendment

The Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

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 The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.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

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

The Twenty-first Amendment was proposed on February 20, 1933, and ratified on December 5, 1933. It is the only amendment to repeal another amendment, the Eighteenth, and the only one to be ratified by state conventions rather than by state legislatures.

Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment ended fourteen years of Prohibition, a failed national experiment that sought to eliminate the consumption of intoxicating liquors. Though consumption was reduced, federal and state law enforcement officials could not prevent the illegal manufacture and sale of "bootleg" alcohol. Organized Crime profited from the ban on alcohol, which enabled criminals such as Chicago gangster al capone to become multi-millionaires. Critics of Prohibition argued that the increase in crime and lawlessness offset any gains from reducing the consumption of liquor.

Prohibition was supported most strongly in rural areas. In urban areas enforcement was difficult. Cities had large populations of immigrants who did not see anything morally wrong with consuming alcohol. In the early 1930s, as production and sales of illegal liquor continued to rise, the onset of the Great Depression led to calls for repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. A legalized liquor industry would provide more jobs at a time when millions were out of work.

At its national convention in 1932, the Democratic Party adopted a platform plank calling for repeal. The landslide Democratic victory of 1932 signaled the end of Prohibition. In February 1933 a resolution proposing the Twenty-first Amendment was introduced in Congress; it contained a provision requiring ratification by state conventions rather than by state legislatures. Though Article V of the Constitution authorizes this ratification method, it had never been used. Supporters of repeal did not want the state legislatures, which generally were dominated by rural legislators supportive of Prohibition, to vote against ratification.

During 1933 thirty-eight states elected delegates to state conventions to consider the amendment. Almost three-quarters of the voters supported repeal in these elections. Therefore, it was not surprising that the ratification conventions certified the results and ratified the Twenty-first Amendment on December 5, 1933.

Section 2 of the amendment gives states the right to prohibit the transportation or importation of intoxicating liquors. Many states enacted their own prohibition laws in the 1930s, but all had been repealed by 1966. The regulation of liquor is now primarily a local issue.

Further readings

Brown, Everett Somerville, compiler. 2003. Ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: State Convention Records and Laws. Clark, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange.

References in periodicals archive ?
24) In the wake of this largely unsuccessful national experiment, and motivated by the economic pressures of the Great Depression, (25) the states ratified the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933 to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment.
The parliament further enabled the creation of military courts to expedite prosecuting terrorists by passing the Twenty-first Amendment in the constitution.
He even correctly notes that the repeal of Prohibition, the Twenty-first Amendment, was brought about because of "money.
Heffernan acknowledges the regulatory powers granted to the states in the Prohibition-ending Twenty-first Amendment, yet he neglects to go into great detail on how alcohol laws and taxes vary from state to state, and how these variances correlate with rates of alcohol consumption.
Sandefur introduces doubt as to what reasons states may have for regulating alcohol under the Twenty-First Amendment.
Twenty-FIrst Amendment faced down the hop shortage a few years ago by throwing caution to the winds and tossing every hop in the brewery into this their Hop Crisis IPA.
The Interaction between the Twenty-First Amendment and the Dormant Commerce Clause C.
As discussed in Chapter 11, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution enacted nationwide Prohibition on the production, sale, or consumption of alcohol in 1920 and was repealed with the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933.
They give an overview of the law and cover wine industry trade practices, labeling and advertising, business models for grape growing and winemaking, Twenty-first Amendment jurisprudence, intellectual property involving brands and appellations, land use in the context of rural wineries and urban bars, wine counterfeiting, public health and social responsibility, and international institutions and accords that deal with wine.
87) The Twenty-First Amendment was passed in 1933 with a requirement that state conventions ratify the repeal of Prohibition, but that was a special exception unconnected to the CLA.
Everyone knows of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1919, and not repealed until the Twenty-First Amendment was ratified in 1933.