Can a State secede from the "Union" ? The new revolution

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posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 10:42 AM
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Ok all of you Constitutional scholars out there in the ATS world, here it is, the question of the week....

There is talk by some of revolution etc. etc. etc. We've all heard this and that from gun toting militia groups to downright violence in the streets. But I want to put all that aside for an even more plausible scenario. I call it the new revolution, or maybe, the 2cd American revolution. So here's the question. Get out your text books and make some phone calls. America needs an answer.

1. Is there a law forbidding any State of the "Union" from deciding to secede from the Union ?

2. Is there a clause withing the Constitution that forbids any State from seceding from the Union ?

3. Is there a right in the Constitution that allows for any rights not given to the central government to belong to the States, and would that also mean States do have a Constitutional right to secede from the Union if they choose to do so ?



So if you are ready, let the games begin, because I believe this will be what we shall see in year or two, starting with Utah, who just reclaimed all federally owned land to itself under "eminent domain".

Please give your answers below.




posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 10:55 AM
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It is illegal for any state to secede from the Union.

There is some question about Texas, though, because the vote to admit Texas to the Union and require it to follow the same laws was tabled in Congress and never really passed.

Texas retains the right to subdivide itself into up to five smaller states if it wants.

I'm not sure about other states, though.

I will research a bit.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:25 AM
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I found a good resource for thoughts on this:

secession



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by emsed1
I found a good resource for thoughts on this:

secession


I found a better source:

www.usconstitution.net...



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:31 AM
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Bold emphasis is mine.

One Supreme Court Judge weighing in


According to Eric, Justice Scalia was the only justice to respond. His brief letter read:

I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one Nation, indivisible.”) Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit.


blogs.wsj.com...



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:37 AM
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I don't understand something, because last time I checked Government officals are elected by the people. Now, I know that most of them use propoganda and pay alot of money to get elected, BUT elected non the less. I don't get why we think it has to take armed revolt to change things.

Just convince enough people that they need to vote for someone else. As long as the majority of the people are happy with the governemt (no matter how uninformed they are) nothing wil ever change, and you will just get arrested for trying.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:43 AM
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Originally posted by Fromabove
o here's the question. Get out your text books and make some phone calls. America needs an answer.


America got an answer. The case is Texas vs. White and the answer was "no."


Originally posted by Fromabove
1. Is there a law forbidding any State of the "Union" from deciding to secede from the Union ?


Yes, inasmuch as the Constitution is organic law.


Originally posted by Fromabove
2. Is there a clause withing the Constitution that forbids any State from seceding from the Union ?


According to the Supreme Court it's the Preamble. The Articles of Confederation established a "perpetual union" and the preamble of the second, and current, constitution established a "more perfect union", ergo, per the Supreme Court in Texas vs. White the current Republic is more permanent than permanent.


Originally posted by Fromabove
3. Is there a right in the Constitution that allows for any rights not given to the central government to belong to the States, and would that also mean States do have a Constitutional right to secede from the Union if they choose to do so ?


1. yes, the 10th Amendment

2. no, the case escapes me at the moment but the Supreme Court has also held that (and this is a direct quote) "the United States is, in fact, a nation" ... the most basic function of any nation, above all others, is to guarantee its own continuity




[edit on 1-4-2010 by atreides]



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by trueperspective
 


This is a rather sunny outlook on things.

In 2008 Bob Barr turned in enough petition signatures to be listed as a candidate for President on the New Hampshire ballot.

He was not listed as a candidate.

New Hampshire officials said they had "lost" the petitions. Barr sued to be placed on the N.H. ballot. The final judgment in the case was that the state had, indeed, lost the paperwork but that no remedy would be provided the Barr campaign.

This is situationally endemic and not an isolated instance.

Regardless of Barr's statistical chances of winning, if candidates who meet the legal qualifications to run are not allowed to run through repeated and frequent "accidents" and "clerical errors", free elections are not occurring.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:58 AM
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The legality of secession is moot. By seceding you're effectively casting off any "laws" that would matter.

It's like making suicide illegal.

Besides, it's not like if it were legal the fed wouldnt march on in and take the state over anyway.

In the end law and legality have absolutely no power. How many treaties and contracts have been broken for little or no reason over the years?

Law is imaginary. The force behind it and the gun to your head however are not.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:03 PM
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As stated before, I think the issue of secession was cleared up after the Civil War.

Link: en.wikipedia.org...

''Discussions and threats of secession have often surfaced in American politics, but only in the case of the Confederate States of America was secession actually declared. A 2008 Zogby International poll revealed that 22% of Americans believe that "any state or region has the right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic."[30][31] The United States Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869), that while the union was "perpetual" and that secession ordinances were "absolutely null," membership nevertheless could be revoked "through revolution, or through consent of the States."


[edit on 1-4-2010 by Tanulis]



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
The legality of secession is moot. By seceding you're effectively casting off any "laws" that would matter.



I would disagree. Dissolution can occur within an established legal framework. States occasionally redivide their counties, which occurs as a fairly routine, clerical matter not involving great strife and upheaval. Czechoslovakia divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic under a multi-month, internally directed legal process.

Not to say such a legal framework exists in the US, just to say that it is not implicit that secession is equitable to a "casting off" of laws.

[edit on 1-4-2010 by atreides]



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:24 PM
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For the states to secede you would need a solid majority of states wanting to secede.


Regardless of the frivolous laws out there on the matter, if a majority of states want to secede, the fed is in trouble. They can't do anything about it, unless they want to start another civil war.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by atreides
 


I was unaware of such things. Thanks for the info. The only thing I guess I can say is that there still isnt ever going to be a way to "win" the government back through armed conflict.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by atreides
 


I agree that a perfectly 'lawful' agreement of separation can be met dissolving a relationship between parties. That's nice and all. What my point was is that is no 'lawful' agreement can be met, no treaty signed (which itself wouldnt be absolute) the option to ignore any legal course and simply cast off the governing entity is not impossible. It may result in violent conflict or economic sabotage but still whether legal or not at that point it doesnt matter.

Like if you ground a child. Sure that kid may not be allowed to go out on Saturday but there isnt anything short of physical restraint that is going to guarantee the child does not simply ignore the 'law' as you have set it forth and just go out Saturday night anyway.

Law is imaginary.

My favorite example of this is in an episode of the Simpsons. Homer loses his driver's license and despite that is about to drive a car. Lisa says "Dad you can't drive. You don't have your license." Homer responds with "I have to try." To his amazement the car starts and he drives off sans license to do so.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by trueperspective
reply to post by atreides
 


I was unaware of such things. Thanks for the info. The only thing I guess I can say is that there still isnt ever going to be a way to "win" the government back through armed conflict.


I'd generally agree with that except for two situational scenarios -

(a) a crippling, destabilizing event that were to precede an armed conflict; most likely a naturally occurring catastrophe of some type, less likely an engineered event such as Koro - in this situation is would be functionally impossible for the many competing ideological fronts to gain control of a unified continent, though

(b) the restraint of civil authority by an internal actor as through a coup, though, Edward Luttwak correctly notes the decentralization of military-police authority in the United States would make a coup a logistical impossibility in the near future



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
reply to post by atreides
 


I agree that a perfectly 'lawful' agreement of separation can be met dissolving a relationship between parties. That's nice and all. What my point was is that is no 'lawful' agreement can be met, no treaty signed (which itself wouldnt be absolute) the option to ignore any legal course and simply cast off the governing entity is not impossible. It may result in violent conflict or economic sabotage but still whether legal or not at that point it doesnt matter.

Like if you ground a child. Sure that kid may not be allowed to go out on Saturday but there isnt anything short of physical restraint that is going to guarantee the child does not simply ignore the 'law' as you have set it forth and just go out Saturday night anyway.

Law is imaginary.

My favorite example of this is in an episode of the Simpsons. Homer loses his driver's license and despite that is about to drive a car. Lisa says "Dad you can't drive. You don't have your license." Homer responds with "I have to try." To his amazement the car starts and he drives off sans license to do so.


I think you're making a point that is separate from the topic of discussion.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:48 PM
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1. Is there a law forbidding any State of the "Union" from deciding to secede from the Union ? Yes. The Alien and Sedition Acts (latter doesn't apply in KY or VA)

2. Is there a clause withing the Constitution that forbids any State from seceding from the Union ? No

3. Is there a right in the Constitution that allows for any rights not given to the central government to belong to the States, and would that also mean States do have a Constitutional right to secede from the Union if they choose to do so ? Yes

But if you REALLY want some "teeth" to bolster a State's right to seek their own destiny, you'll check out the language that Thomas Jefferson included when he framed the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and the language that James Madison included when he framed the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 & 1799.

en.wikipedia.org...

The resolutions opposed the federal Alien and Sedition Acts, that extended the powers of the federal government. They argued that the Constitution was a "compact" or agreement among the states. Therefore, the federal government had no right to exercise powers not specifically delegated to it and that if the federal government assumed such powers, acts under them would be void. So, states could decide the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress.

A key provision of the Kentucky Resolutions was Resolution 2, that denied Congress more than a few penal powers:

That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, and no other crimes, whatsoever; and it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," therefore the act of Congress, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, and intituled "An Act in addition to the act intituled An Act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States," as also the act passed by them on the -- day of June, 1798, intituled "An Act to punish frauds committed on the bank of the United States," (and all their other acts which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution,) are altogether void, and of no force; and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and, of right, appertains solely and exclusively to the respective States, each within its own territory.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:51 PM
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i cant remember where i learned this exactly in history but aftr the civil war lincoln told the rebels they had no right to secede or that they never really seceded idk i cant remember



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by Toot Sweet
1. Is there a law forbidding any State of the "Union" from deciding to secede from the Union ? Yes. The Alien and Sedition Acts (latter doesn't apply in KY or VA)


The Alien Enemies Act and the Sedition Act both expired by 1801. The current U.S. crime titled "Seditious Conspiracy" doesn't prevent any state from attempting to secede, it only forbids conspiracies the object of which is the overthrow of the U.S. government by force. The Preamble to the Constitution is what prevents states from seceding.


Originally posted by Toot Sweet
But if you REALLY want some "teeth" to bolster a State's right to seek their own destiny, you'll check out the language that Thomas Jefferson included when he framed the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and the language that James Madison included when he framed the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 & 1799.


These are interesting historic resolutions but the idea that the constitution is simply a "compact" is not reconcilable with more current case law. Especially in Luther vs. Borden, rendered after the Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island:

Under the fourth article of the Constitution, it rests with Congress to decide what government is the established one in a State. For, as the United States guarantee to each State a republican government, Congress must necessarily decide what government is established in the State before it can determine whether it is republican or not.



posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 02:08 PM
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Absolutely amazing. All of you are providing excellent points on the issue. I would vote any one of you into office. That being said, I'm not sure that the case has been made that a State cannot seceded from the "Union". With the Constitution being the founding ordinance and there not being an non-secession clause expressly written therein, I would assume the founders left the door open for such remedies. The preamble saying in order to form a "more perfect union" to me says that they will be parties to a compact creating a union of states to be called the "Union"and not the transformation into a single entity, hence the words "The United States of America" and not just "America". We are a collection of unified States within the framework of a contract called the Constitution. Without the terms being complied with, if there is a breach, either party has the right of redress, and if necessary, a voiding of the contract on their part as to further being a party to terms not consistent with those agreed to in the original contract.


I'm going to need more information on this, so please give me some thoughts. Utah is about to move to repossess federal land under it's sovereignty rights and eminent domain law in order to bring a states rights case to the Supreme court.

Thanks, and again, ATS has some excellent Constitutional students in it's ranks.





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