How ironic that George F. Will chose to cite Federalist 84 in support of his advocacy of limited federal power [“The federal case of a burned thumb,” op-ed, Nov. 3]. True, Alexander Hamilton did state in that essay that the entire Constitution “is itself . . . A BILL OF RIGHTS.” However, the context of that statement — indeed, the main thrust of the essay — was in opposition to adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Hamilton “affirm[ed] that bills of rights . . . are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous.” No Bill of Rights means no 10th Amendment. Is this really the brief that Will wants to hang his hat on?

“The great bulk of the citizens of America,” Hamilton continued, “are with reason convinced, that Union is the basis of their political happiness.” On this point Hamilton was right, and most of us still support broad federal powers, including federal criminal statutes against terrorism.

Robert Hamberger, Vienna