Jerry West <email@example.com> writes:
"40 years ago in Jr. High we were taught (in Kerman,
CA) that the Civil War was not fought over slavery,
but over states rights."
The whole notion of "states rights" is an abuse
of terminology. States do not have "rights."
They have *powers.* Only individuals have
The Founders of the Republic recognized this
distinction in the Bill of Rights. The 9th
Amendment guarantees that certain "rights"
shall be retained "by the people" even though
they are not explicitly spelled out in the
The 10th Amendment reserves *powers* not
delegated to the federal government to the
states, or to the people.
People have powers and rights, but governments
only have powers.
The defenders of "states rights" would serve
their cause better if they understood what
they are trying to do, that is, defend the
notion of limited powers of the federal
~ Michael Wright
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