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Clayton Hill

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

I opened Sunday's "Views" section and noticed immediately — no letters to the editor. I thought, "that's odd." Later, I read the full section, and it was apparent why no letters were included. "Rolling back the Curtains on LTEs" fully explained the specific requirements and limitations for submittals and publishing. The requirements are just and equitable and keep civility in mind regardless as to how low the bar may appear. I will add the way the world is nowadays, keeping civility in check is a challenge as anger surfaces on many subjects. I also agree that more readers need to submit letters too few are carrying this burden. If this paper ever becomes irrelevant, we will lose more than just a source of news. Our freedom depends partially and importantly on free speech and a free press.

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Likewise, with Independence Day celebrations, Sunday's Views included a column by George Will concerning the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. He cited two sources in addition to President Lincoln and Dr. King opining of the relationship between the Declaration and the Constitution and to whether it made a difference as to whether the Declaration was part of the Constitution itself.

Professor John Eidsmoe writes: "The role of the Declaration of Independence in American law is often misconstrued. Some believe the Declaration is simply a statement of ideas that has no legal force whatsoever today. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Declaration has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the fundamental law of the United States of America. The United States Code Annotated includes the Declaration of Independence under the heading 'The Organic Laws of the United States of America' along with the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the Northwest Ordinance."

Article VII, in Constitution closure, lists ratifying requirements: after the date with and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In Witness whereof (the 12 States attending the convention). That "Independence" is the Declaration, I believe, and therefore, by reference, is within the Constitution. And as Will stated, "Lincoln indicated that the Constitution was the 'silver frame surrounding the gold center' (the Declaration of Independence)." I will add that the glazing and all the fasteners are the first 10 amendments The "Bill of Rights" that hold it all together.

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