Full Faith and Credit
This clause has generated some controversy, however, as some thinkers argue that public policy of a state should not be dictated by contrary policy decisions made by another state. The issue arose when some states began to recognize same-sex marriages and others did not. In 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages must be accepted across the country, it did so on the basis of the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment—not on the basis of the full faith and credit clause.
Privileges and Immunities
Through other cases, the protections of this clause have extended to taxation. States are prohibited from taxing nonresidents at discriminatory rates. In Lunding v. New York Tax Appeals Tribunal (1998), the Supreme Court loosened this requirement somewhat by stating that it was not necessary for the tax burden on residents and nonresidents to be exactly equal but that a state had to show a "substantial reason" for any difference and that the differential treatment had to be based on that reason.
Section 2 originally contained a related clause, Clause 3, which read as follows:
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour shall be due.
In roundabout language, the clause referred to enslaved African Americans and meant that those who managed to escape slavery to a free state could be forcibly returned. Congress enacted a fugitive slave law in 1793, though some northern states erected barriers to full enforcement. This prompted Congress to pass a more draconian measure in 1850 that provoked widespread outrage in the North and helped contribute to the growing sectional tension that led to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. The 1850 law was repealed in 1864, during the war. Ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, banning slavery, effectively repealed Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3.
Status of New States
Under Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2, Congress has full authority to make any rules and regulations regarding U.S. territories or possessions. It can delegate some power to make laws to a territorial legislature elected by residents of the territory but can also limit the scope of that body's powers.
Common reasons for creating an interstate compact include agreement to alter state boundaries, formation of a study commission to examine problems that affect more than one state or to promote common causes, or the issuance of regulations that apply to multiple states. Today, some compacts are regional and even national, rather than just among two or three states.
Sample Interstate Compacts and Their Purposes
|Compact||Year Originated||States Involved||Purpose|
|New York-New Jersey Port Authority Compact||1921||New York and New Jersey||Flood control, the prevention of pollution, and the conservation and allocation of water supplied by interstate streams|
|Interstate Corrections Compact||1934||39 states and District of Columbia||Cooperative efforts for the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of those held in correctional institutions|
|Bi-State Development Agency Compact||1950||Illinois and Missouri||Operate regional transit system and oversee parking lots and garages and industrial parks|
|Driver License Compact||1958||46 states and District of Columbia||Share information about traffic violations and license suspensions of nonresidents to the driver's home state|
|Great Lakes Basin Compact||1968||Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin||Cooperate on water use, economic development, and environmental protection of the Great Lakes|
|Emergency Management Assistance Compact||1996||50 states plus District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands||Provide emergency assistance when the governor of any compact state declares a state of emergency or disaster|