Constitution expert should re-take high school civics

March 22, 2010

As a self-proclaimed expert on the U.S. Constitution, Institute on the Constitution co-founder Michael Petroutka would be advised to pay more attention to the document itself, and to high school civics ("Getting back to the country's founders," March 21).

For example, our laws against murder are due not to any prohibition in the Constitution (the document does not mention murder) nor to divine moral authority, but to laws enacted by the duly-elected representatives of the people as specified in the federal and state Constitutions. As to the evolution of the law, which Mr. Petroutka so vehemently decries, one needn't be a constitutional scholar to note that the original Constitution sanctioned slavery, counted a negro slave as 3/5 of a free white man, and prohibited women from voting. These deficiencies were, of course, corrected by subsequent amendments. Thus, like American society at large, the Constitution and our laws do and must evolve, as was anticipated by James Madison and the other founders who built into our Constitution the process to do so.

B. Krueger, Ellicott City

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.