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Distinctions

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Arkansas has the diamonds, and now we seem to be acquiring a reputation as the state most resistant to the requirements of the U.S. Constitution. The legislature's passage of a couple of unconstitutional abortion bills, and the subsequent override of the governor's vetoes, have gotten the state a lot of attention. Mostly unfavorable, but that doesn't seem to matter anymore. Look at the reality shows on TV.

In the 19th century, Arkansas was part of a big dust-up over slavery and secession, though we were one of a group then, and not one of the first states out of the Union. But in the 1950s we distinguished ourselves by calling up the National Guard to avoid compliance with the constitutional demand of integrated schools. The U.S. Army persuaded us of our error. It was a big deal while it lasted. Gov. Mike Beebe's vetoes of this year's abortion bills had scarcely been trumped when a legislator introduced a bill declaring Arkansas exempt from federal gun control laws. Don't bet against its passage.

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