February 20, 2010 in Letters

Original Constitution missing

The Spokesman-Review

Health care issues aside (“States lost right to fight federal fix to health care,” Feb. 13), let’s take a closer look at states’ rights itself. The federal government established in the U.S. Constitution by the various state governments no longer exists.

The few powers remaining with those states after the War of Secession (1861-65) were voided by the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on April 8, 1913. Prior to that date, U.S. senators were elected by the state legislatures to represent them at the federal level.

Now, U.S. senators are elected by the people, who have gained a second House of Representatives and the state governments are, in effect, administrative units of the central (Washington, D.C.) government.

If we would only repeal the 17th Amendment, this discussion could take place in the U.S. Senate and the rest of us might go fishing, read a good book or whatever.

Jon J. Tuning


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