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Is Secession Legal?

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posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:07 PM
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I saw an article this morning where a certain Democrat Senator essentially called the Constitution racist. Not going to respond to the silliness of that statement because that is not what this post is about. However, it did make me think back about the "threats" of some liberal states to secede from the country in a tantrum if they don't get their way and their candidate is not "given" the presidency. I've always found this threat to be rather humorous because I thought it was an obvious point to anyone 30 yrs or older who went through the American education system (pre-liberal takeover) that we had a very well known war which answered whether this was legal or not. So I was curious why it is bubbling to the surface again....

I came across this old article which has some pretty interesting points in it.

Is Secession Legal?

It does a good job of explaining a lot of the legal and philosophical arguments that have occurred throughout history in regards to this question. However, there is one point that really sticks out to me....



The Union, then, through a declaration of war could attempt to force the seceded States to remain, but even if victorious that would not solve a philosophical issue. War and violence do not and cannot crush the natural right of self-determination. It can muddle the picture and force the vanquished into submission so long as the boot is firmly planted on their collective throats, but a bloody nose and a prostrate people settles nothing.


We are ALL Americans. And even though we have ideological disagreements, we ALL share equal rights and equal stakes in making our country whole. If our liberal brothers and sisters feel they have reached such a chasm between us that the only option is dissolution, then we have a very serious problem. We legitimately know that violence is not the answer. The only way to resolve this chasm moving forward is an honest and legitimate effort on BOTH sides to talk through the issues and negotiate a compromise. I realize that it won't be easy. I realize that there are MANY egos involved, corruption, etc. But we have to try....for the sake of ALL Americans.




posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:13 PM
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Philosophy aside, if the South had won the Civil War, secession would have been legal. Might makes right. It's that simple.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: CIAGypsy
There are right now, petitions circulating in certain counties of Oregon for those counties to be redistricted into a new state to be known as Greater Idaho. Basically all the counties in the state other than the counties that have the three major liberal cities, Portland, Salem and Eugene.

On our ballot in our county there was an initiative to vote to have our county commissioners begin to study the possibility of becoming part of that Greater Idaho, or not look into it at all.

This smacks of Balkanization to me.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

There's been similar proposals to split California up, which makes a lot more sense to me. It's a huge state with gigantic disparities between the liberal areas and the conservative areas.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

Those initiatives have no chance of becoming reality without support from most of the other states.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:36 PM
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There were leftist war games about what to do if Trump appeared to win on election night by EC vote but not popular vote, and one of the things they did was to strategize urging the three left coast states to secede unless Biden was given the win. This was all while they contested states with sort of close votes that still went to Trump over mail-in ballot counts hoping they could flip enough to flip the EC win too in the meantime.

So, yeah, you're going to hear rumbles about secession. It's part of the next level resist campaign. Even if they clearly lose, they don't intend to go quietly and wait another four years.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:37 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: TerryMcGuire

Those initiatives have no chance of becoming reality without support from most of the other states.


Isn't it 37 states or something like that have to approve it?

ETA: Nope, I was wrong.
edit on 27 10 20 by face23785 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: face23785
Isn't it 37 states or something like that have to approve it?


To apportion one state into several it requires all neighboring states and Congress, but to admit other states not in that scenario it's a vote in Congress with the Senate requiring 60 votes now but that can be changed.





edit on 27-10-2020 by AugustusMasonicus because: Networkdude has no beer



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:50 PM
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a reply to: face23785

O could see quite a few saying, "Sayonara!" to California.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:50 PM
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Pretty funny it's now the neoliberal/Democrats that want to secede this go around. I say we let em. Let em find out how little no one cares for them.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 12:55 PM
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originally posted by: face23785
a reply to: TerryMcGuire

There's been similar proposals to split California up, which makes a lot more sense to me. It's a huge state with gigantic disparities between the liberal areas and the conservative areas.


The reality is that most states are like that... it is just a bit more pronounced in CA due to the size of the state. Most states are red all over with a smattering of blue in the major metropolitan area.

The issue is that population density is typically concentrated around the major cities and those politicians have managed to control state politics.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:05 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: face23785
Isn't it 37 states or something like that have to approve it?


To apportion one state into several it requires all neighboring states and Congress, but to admit other states not in that scenario it's a vote in Congress with the Senate requiring 60 votes now but that can be changed.






Looks like we're both wrong. It only requires the approval of Congress and the state legislatures of the states involved. So if one state wanted to split into 2 or 3 states, without involving territory from any neighboring states, the neighboring states have no say. This is the relevant section of the Constitution:


New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress


So, for example, the one in Oregon where they want some counties to split off and be called Greater Idaho, that would only require the approval of Congress and the Oregon legislature, since no actual territory in Idaho is involved.

On the OP: it seems to me there would have to be an amendment to the Constitution to make secession legal.
edit on 27 10 20 by face23785 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: face23785

The 'states involved' also includes neighboring states as things like water rights and borders come into play.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:10 PM
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a reply to: CIAGypsy

I mean, if they succeed in seceding, then they are no longer under the purview of the former legislature. So, it becomes a moot point and the body that seceded is now under its own laws.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:26 PM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
a reply to: CIAGypsy
There are right now, petitions circulating in certain counties of Oregon for those counties to be redistricted into a new state to be known as Greater Idaho. Basically all the counties in the state other than the counties that have the three major liberal cities, Portland, Salem and Eugene.

On our ballot in our county there was an initiative to vote to have our county commissioners begin to study the possibility of becoming part of that Greater Idaho, or not look into it at all.

This smacks of Balkanization to me.



People in a county asking to be to redistricted to another state through a collective vote is altogether different than secession, imho. They still belong to the Union....just asking to redraw boundary lines in regards to administration and laws. If you look at one of the historical arguments, it makes the claim that the country was initially created through the collective will of the people who voted to join the union...not just an arbitrary agreement by a state.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:30 PM
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originally posted by: AutomateThis1
Pretty funny it's now the neoliberal/Democrats that want to secede this go around. I say we let em. Let em find out how little no one cares for them.


No, let's not. I personally do not want a Venezuela on our doorstep. I'd rather bring the globalist corruption into the spotlight and have an open dialogue to explain to misguided millenials what they should have been taught in school but weren't - namely, why socialism and communism is a failed ideology which doesn't work on a national level.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Yes, and then the entire state gets governed as if it is one big city which it isn't, and what "may" make sense in the city usually makes no sense at all for the rural folks or even small town ones.

Ask the standard rural person if an electric vehicle makes any sense to them whatsoever in any way, and they'll laugh at you, but city politicos think everyone should be forced to have one because they govern for the city.



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:32 PM
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originally posted by: new_here
a reply to: CIAGypsy

I mean, if they succeed in seceding, then they are no longer under the purview of the former legislature. So, it becomes a moot point and the body that seceded is now under its own laws.


Except that legalities are not that simplistic. This is the same reason that you or I can't claim to be a sovereign citizen and that the laws don't apply to us while remaining on US soil. This situation is addressed in the article. Did you read it?



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:35 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: face23785

The 'states involved' also includes neighboring states as things like water rights and borders come into play.


Yeah that's not how that works. We know because there's historical precedent. Look up Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maine, and how they became states. Only the states whose territory was involved in the proposals (Virginia in the first two cases and Massachusetts in the case of Maine) had any say in the matter, in addition to Congress of course.

Yeah, I realize you can argue neighboring states are "involved" because you have rivers that run through one state into the other and whatnot, but that's not how it works in practice. If that were the case, every state in the union could argue they're "involved" these days because of interstate commerce. And the surrounding states' borders aren't changing in the kind of cases we're discussing, so that's not even a consideration. I'm not sure if you brought up borders to be dishonest or because you don't understand the subject matter, but either way the surrounding states' borders aren't changing when a single state partitions into two or more states.

Now, I realize the words "I was wrong" are not gonna be forthcoming from you, especially since it's me and your ego is extra fragile when it comes to discussions with me. But you were, indeed, wrong. So was I in this case.

I do apologize for putting you through the traumatic (for you) experience of being wrong for the 2nd time in a week. It's okay, I promise.


originally posted by: schuyler
Philosophy aside, if the South had won the Civil War, secession would have been legal. Might makes right. It's that simple.


I did find it rather interesting that the article from the OP talks about the philosophical side of it. Philosophy isn't law. Philosophy may influence law, but the answer to the legal question certainly appears to be "no" at this time.
edit on 27 10 20 by face23785 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2020 @ 01:51 PM
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a reply to: face23785


The Equal Footing Doctrine was first constitutionalized in Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan (1845), where the Supreme Court held that as a matter of basic sovereignty all states have ownership of the beds of their navigable waterways (submerged lands under major rivers and lakes), and that, because newly admitted states must be on an equal footing with the existing states, newly admitted states obtained these same ownership rights when they joined the Union. Source


I could be mistaken but the section on navigable waterways would include adjacent states.



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