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Citizens' Rights Reside in the Balance of Power

September 12, 2002

Re "Rights and the New Reality--Congress, Courts: Step In," editorial, Sept. 9: Ignoring the Constitution seems to be in vogue these days. So few Americans have ever read or understand the importance of our marvelous document. If we allow our legislative and executive branches to ignore it, then we will lose our democracy.

President Bush acts as if he can do anything he wants with regard to a war against Iraq. However, the Constitution clearly grants Congress the power to declare war and to control the money in any war. The Constitution placed war power in Congress for good reason: Tyrants had ruled people's lives for millenniums. Our new government was to change that with a system of balanced power.

Citizens need to become well informed about our constitutional form of government and their civic responsibilities. It is the people in this government who are sovereign, and it is also they who pay in lives and money for the actions of their elected officials. A new, deep and lasting patriotism can result with our nation committed to learning about its greatest treasure--a constitutional government.

Ula Pendleton

Los Angeles

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