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"Obligation of States" In Article 4 Explained

Obligation Of States

The "Obligation of States," within Article 4 of the Constitution, is comprised of 3 specific clauses that assist in the representation of State laws. The first clause is the "Privileges and Immunities Clause". In Corfield v. Coryell, the Supreme Court ruled that the following are banned from such practices of discrimination: government protection, rights to life and liberty, right of citizens to go from one State to the next, the right of citizens to live within varying states due to interests such as that of commerce and agriculture, rights to fair State court action, rights to property, and rights to be imposed taxes that are not any more than that which are imposed on all other citizens of one’s economic bracket.

Aside from these general rights bestowed upon all citizens, the Court did rule that New Jersey State law must allow for State residents to reserve an exclusive right to acquire clams as well as oysters within the State.


Residing within Clause 2 is that of the "extradition of fugitives". This references the "Extradition Clause" which states that individuals charged with crimes of treason or felony, who have fled the State, be eligible to be reacquired in any other State so that they may be arraigned in a court that resides within the original State maintaining jurisdiction over their case. State law must demand this, however, as is representative by an "executive authority of the state." There is no distinction placed upon the time in which the fleeing had occurred as well. It only matters that they had fled following committing of the aforementioned crime.

The final clause included within this section is that of the "Fugitive Slave Clause." It states that individuals held as persons of service and labor not escape such a label despite having temporarily escaped such inhabitants. Such individuals, upon reacquisition, must be brought forth towards their original place escape. This Clause was eliminated altogether with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

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