The country cannot rely on states to legislate themselves when it come to Civil Rights. Just look at how the Southern states didn't address, in fact subverted, Civil Rights following the Civil War during Reconstruction. Jim Crow would still be the norm in the South if the Federal Govt. hadn't weighed in. It took the Federal Gov't to provide the leadership (even if LBJ was not keen on the idea) to pass the 1964 Voters Rights Act (Civil Rights Act). In fact they are actively attempting to turn back the clock on Georgia and Florida.