"We the People" v. "states' rights"

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Nov 15 12:34:17 UTC 2002

Bob F pointed out:

My comment was based, primarily, on the first sentence of the Constitution,
whic says, "We, the People....do ordain and establish this Constitution..."

The debate is whether the Constitution is a creature of the states, and
thus, the individual states could, arguably, secede, or a creature of the

My preference is the latter. That view avoids much of the rhetoric about
state's rights (which the Supreme Court chose to ignore\d in the Bush v Gore
case out of Florida).

This is an excellent point, in my (non-lawyer) view.  I had not considered
the fact that the whole thing starts with "We the People of the United
States . . ."

One can still make a case for states' rights, though, or at least,
historically, states have, and it has been an important topic for discussion
down through they years.

Notably, a few weeks ago the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling allowed
Lautenburg to run for US Senator in lieu of Torricelli, who had withdrawn
from the race after the deadline to file for candidacy.  The US Supreme
Court chose to pass on this case, making the NJ ruling stand -- a wise
decision, I think.  So did they do it our of respect for NJ "states' rights"
or the rights of the people of NJ?  I suppose it is a purely academic issue.

Please excuse if this is too much off-topic.


Frank Abate
Dictionary & Reference Specialists (DRS)
Consulting & Lexicographic Services
(860) 349-5400
abatefr at earthlink.net

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