chita Parish (Monroe).rnAmendment 11 enjoyed widespread support among thernstate’s elected officials, including conservative RepublicanrnGovernor Mike Foster. (When Foster ran for governor inrn1995, he set himself apart from the crowded field of candidatesrnby strongly supporting Second Amendment gun-ownershiprnrights and a concealed-carn- law, which he signed into law afterrnbecoming governor.) All of the state’s 39 senators but one (arnRepublican) supported the original legislation for the amendment,rnand all but seven (all Democrats) of the 105 members ofrnthe Louisiana House of Representatives supported it.rnThe only opposition came from left-leaning media elites, includingrnsome of the state’s biggest newspapers. In the state capitalrnof Baton Rouge, the Advocate, perhaps Louisiana’s mostrnpolitically influential newspaper, offered the most strident opposition.rnThe newspaper’s editorial urging rejection of thernamendment bordered on hysterics. The editors lectured readersrnthat “Americans fought a bloody Civil War to settle the issuesrnraised by a proposed amendment to the state Constitution.”rnThey went on to castigate legislators for “thoughtlesslyrnsending on to the voters a piece of political nonsense.” (Thernoutcome of the election castigated the media elites who thinkrnthey know better than Jefferson, Calhoun, Davis, and thern260,000 Southerners who died fighting for this very principlernfrom 1861-65.) The Advocate’s editors also called to task SenatorrnMax Jordan (R-Lafayette), who originally proposed this “unnecessaryrnand even dangerous” amendment.rnThen they launched into a diatribe against the South, claimingrnthat “Jordan’s amendment unfurls the old South battle flagrnone more time.” Thev played the race card by linking thernamendment to segregation, and followed with a truly asininernstatement: “We thought this fight was settled in the unpleasantnessrnof 1865, and by the 20th-century decisions of thernSupreme Court in the civil rights era.”rnTo the newspaper’s credit, the editors did allow Senator Jordanrnto respond and printed numerous letters to the editor regardingrnthe editorial, all but one of which were favorable tornstate sovereignty. In his response, Jordan called the propositionrn”an important reaffirmation of states’ rights,” adding, “We havernlitigated so many things, it would be a good thing that we couldrnpoint to in our own constitution.” The state senator also arguedrnthat the federal government has trampled on the TenthrnAmendment: “If we put [state sovereignt)’] in our own constitution,rnthen it gives legal scholars, law}’ers and the attorney generalrnsomething we can point to on everything from abortion tornthe Brady Bill, mandates in education, etc.”rnTommy Curtis of Lake Charles replied to the Advocate’s editorsrnin a particularly perceptive letter:rnThe Advocate, like so many who misimderstand thernproper relationship of the Federal and State governments,rnsees any reference to States’ Rights as a codernword for Jim Crow, and a hearkening back to the darkrndays of segregation and legalized apartheid. This is arnlaughable, but oft used premise to defend the over reachrnof Federal power. True Federalism, which we don’t livernunder anymore, is a compact of member States whornagree to subordinate certain governmental powers to arncentral authority in certain specified common affairs. Itrndoes not mean a surrender of all sovereignty to the centralrngovernment; this is what the framers understood, andrnis exactiy what h a s . . . been per’erted since the Revolutionrnof 1861-65, commonly known as the Civil War.rnCurtis went on to say that John C. Calhoun and ConfederaternVice President Alexander Stephens understood the originalrnintent of the Framers better than such nationalists as AbrahamrnLincoln and Andrew Jackson.rnEither we believe in the consent of the governed, or werndon’t. We should follow the lead of the John C. Calhounsrnof our day and thank State Senator Max Jordan forrnhis courageous offering of an opportunity for Louisianiansrnto remember that we were once a free people, even ifrnthe 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is nowrnsimplv a dead letter. With the right direction and leadership,rnthe republic that has been lost might someday bernrevived.rnWas the state sovereignty amendment just a meaninglessrnfeel-good measure, as some critics said? Dr. Michael Hill, presidentrnof the League of the South, claimed that it would be difficultrnto exaggerate the importance of the victory:rnWe owe our compatriots in Louisiana a debt of gratitudernfor pushing through this amendment by a rather easyrnmargin. Once our state constitutions contain such anrnamendment, then we will have solid ground from whichrnto introduce the League’s State Sovereignt}’ Bill. Wernhave been patient, and now things are beginning to gornour way.rnThe state sovereignty amendment, however, is only one ofrnmany fronts on which Louisiana is challenging the federalrngovernment. One of the state’s most recent efforts to nullifyrna federal action has been to block the attempt by the U.S. Departmentrnof Health and Human Services to nationalize the human-rnorgan donation system. Louisiana has one of the mostrnsuccessful organ donation programs in the nation and one ofrnthe highest donation rates. The system is currentiy run by thernprivate-sector United Network for Organ Sharing, which is operatedrnby health-care professionals, if someone donates an organ,rnstate residents get first priorit); those in nearby states comernsecond; and, if no regional matches are found, the organs arerndonated to those in other sections of the country. Louisiana alreadyrnsends about a third of its donated organs out of state andrnranks above the national average for donations. The state alsornhas reciprocal organ-donation agreements with some otherrnstates.rnFederalization would have meant a national system thatrnwould have given priority to the sickest patients, no matterrnwhere they are. Physicians in the program said this would likelyrnhave residted in most organs going to five or six largernmetropolitan areas around the nation, while small state systemsrnlike Louisiana’s would wither away. Dr. John McDonald, directorrnof the Louisiana State Uniersity Medical Center transplantrncenter, said that citizens of Louisiana who are unable tornafford to go to one of the big national centers for transplantrnsurgery would suffer if the new national program went into effect.rnIn a classic case of how a state can interpose to protect its citizensrnfrom an overreaching centralized government, Louisianarnchallenged the proposed system on several fronts. Legislatorsrnpassed a law making it illegal for organs donated in Loiusianarn20/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn