Equal-Footing Doctrine Law & Legal Definition


Equal-Footing Doctrine is a principle of Constitutional law that mandates that new states be admitted to the Union as equals of the existing states, in terms of power, sovereignty, and freedom. States must be admitted on an equal footing in the sense that Congress may not exact conditions solely as a tribute for admission, but it may, in the enabling or admitting acts or subsequently impose requirements that would be or are valid and effectual if the subject of congressional legislation after admission.