Definition of Grandfather clause:
A clause exempting certain classes of people or things from the requirements of a piece of legislation affecting their previous rights, privileges, or practices.
Provision that exempts certain entities from the full impact of an agreement, rule, or statute on the basis of preexisting arrangements or practices. A firm, for example, may decide to raise its prices from a certain date but charge the old price to existing customers.
The origin of the term refers to statutes put in place after the Civil War by seven Southern states in an attempt to block African Americans from voting while exempting white voters from taking literacy tests and paying poll taxes required to vote. In the statutes, white voters whose grandfathers had voted before the end of the Civil War were exempt from taking the tests and paying the taxes under the grandfather clause. The statute was deemed to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1915 because it violated equal voting rights, but the use of the term indicating rights prior to rule changes carries on.
A grandfather clause is an exemption that allows persons or entities to continue with activities or operations that were approved before the implementation of new rules, regulations, or laws. Generally speaking, a grandfather clause only exempts people or entities engaged in specified activities before new rules being put in place, while all other parties must abide by the new rules. However, these clauses effectively place two sets of rules or regulations on otherwise similar businesses or circumstances, which can create unfair competitive advantages for grandfathered parties. In these situations, grandfather clauses may only be granted for a set period.
How to use Grandfather clause in a sentence?
- A grandfather clause is a provision that allows people or entities to follow old rules that once governed their activity instead of newly implemented ones, often for a limited time.
- Grandfather clauses can be permanent, temporary, or instituted with limits.
- The term originated during the US Civil War era and referred to statutes enacted in the South to suppress African American voting.
- Grandfather clauses often apply to zoning laws, when the purpose of a development changes.
Meaning of Grandfather clause & Grandfather clause Definition