from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A provision in a statute that exempts those already involved in a regulated activity or business from the new regulations established by the statute.
- n. A clause in the constitutions of several southern states before the year 1915, intended to disfranchise African Americans by exempting from stringent voting requirements all lineal descendants of persons who were registered voters before 1867.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A clause or section, especially in a law, granting exceptions for people or organisations who were affected by previous conditions.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an exemption based on circumstances existing prior to the adoption of some policy; used to enfranchise illiterate whites in south after the American Civil War
From late 19th-century legislation and constitutional amendments passed by a number of U.S. Southern states, which created new literacy and property restrictions on voting, but exempted those whose grandfathers had the right to vote before the Civil War. The intent and effect of such rules was to prevent poor and illiterate African American former slaves and their descendants from voting, but without denying poor and illiterate whites the right to vote. (Wiktionary)