Speakout: Next week's question

Your Opinions

Thoughts on issues relating to Harford County

April 17, 2005

ISSUE: In a recent letter to the editor, Robert Di Stefano of Abingdon wrote that the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," hasn't counted for anything for quite some time.

PRO: The 10th Amendment is the law of the land, as the Supreme Court has ruled several times since the Civil War, recently in Printz v. United States (1997), finding that Congress had unconstitutionally intruded upon state sovereignty by establishing in the Brady Act a requirement that the states check the backgrounds of prospective handgun purchasers.

CON: "I would argue that there has been a usurpation of states' rights by the federal government that has practically eliminated the 10th Amendment, and it started about 1860," Di Stefano wrote. One cause of the Civil War (1861-1865) was the insistence of Southern leaders on the rights of their states to decide on secession from the Union, a matter that was not spelled out in the Constitution.

YOUR VIEW: What issues, if any, do citizens such as Di Stefano have to be concerned about today in the relationship between the federal government and the states and people?

Please send e-mail responses by Thursday to harford.speakout @baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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