state action


Legal Definition of state action

1 : an action that is either taken directly by the state or bears a sufficient connection to the state to be attributed to it

Note: State actions are subject to judicial scrutiny for violations of the rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such an action may be the subject of a claim brought under federal law (as section 1983) by one alleging a violation of constitutional rights, privileges, or immunities.

2 : state efforts to displace competition with regulation or a state-supervised monopoly

Note: Such efforts are immune from antitrust liability.

Learn More about state action

Cite this Entry

“State action.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

Comments on state action

What made you want to look up state action? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!