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11th Amendment an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees a level of sovereign immunity to states by forbidding federal courts from ruling on cases brought against a state by a citizen of another state. The 11th Amendment, ratified in 1795, was passed after the Supreme Court ruled, in Chisholm v. Georgia, in favor of a citizen of South Carolina who was trying to recover debt that was owed him by the state of Georgia. The passage of the amendment overturned this ruling.