Can a US State be Ejected From the Union?

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,632
Dispargum
This is inspired by the other current thread about Can a US State Secede? What about the opposite? What if a US state's behavior became so obnoxious the rest of the country said 'Go away. We don't want you in our country anymore.' And let's assume the ejected state did not want to leave. What various powers are enumerated in the Constitution that would support each side? Nothing directly addresses this contingency but what about indirectly?

To begin, the remaining states would withdraw their military bases from the ejected state, cease all other federal spending in the ejected state, stop enforcing federal laws and close the federal courts, stop delivering the mail, stop collecting taxes. They might impose border controls like customs and immigration.

What could the ejected state do to resist ejection and forcefully try to remain in the union? Leave their borders open, try to block the removal of federal assets from the state. Anything else? They could argue in US court that the Civil War and Texas v White established that the union was permanent. The US could argue that secession and ejection are two different things and those precedents do not apply.

Is there any law that permanently obliges the federal government to each and every state, or are all bonds severable?
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
I can't see this happening. With the current judicial system, this would go through several rounds of federal courts, possibly with different rulings, until, years later, it reaches the SCOTUS. I can't see the SCOTUS agreeing with the idea that a state of the Union should be ejected. The, if even so, think of all the logistical and legal nightmares for this divorce.
 
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MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,011
Kansas
I can't see this happening. With the current judicial system, this would go through several rounds of federal courts, possibly with different rulings, until, years later, it reaches the SCOTUS. I can't see the SCOTUS agreeing with the idea that a state of the Union should be ejected. The, if even so, think of all the logistical and legal nightmares for this divorce.
Yeah I can not see any mechanism to do it. Possibly you need an amendment to go through, then hope the state wanted to be ejected.

Either way a lot of lawyers are going to get extremely rich figuring it all out
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,461
SoCal
This is inspired by the other current thread about Can a US State Secede? What about the opposite? What if a US state's behavior became so obnoxious the rest of the country said 'Go away. We don't want you in our country anymore.' And let's assume the ejected state did not want to leave. What various powers are enumerated in the Constitution that would support each side? Nothing directly addresses this contingency but what about indirectly?

To begin, the remaining states would withdraw their military bases from the ejected state, cease all other federal spending in the ejected state, stop enforcing federal laws and close the federal courts, stop delivering the mail, stop collecting taxes. They might impose border controls like customs and immigration.

What could the ejected state do to resist ejection and forcefully try to remain in the union? Leave their borders open, try to block the removal of federal assets from the state. Anything else? They could argue in US court that the Civil War and Texas v White established that the union was permanent. The US could argue that secession and ejection are two different things and those precedents do not apply.

Is there any law that permanently obliges the federal government to each and every state, or are all bonds severable?
Georgia was readmitted into the Union in 1868 and then expelled once it removed all of its Black legislators from office, no? Georgia then had to agree to the 15th Amendment before being readmitted to the Union in 1870.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,574
Las Vegas, NV USA
Georgia was readmitted into the Union in 1868 and then expelled once it removed all of its Black legislators from office, no? Georgia then had to agree to the 15th Amendment before being readmitted to the Union in 1870.
Note that to readmit a state means its secession is in a sense recognized. When Queen Victoria's Proclamation of Neutrality was issued in May, 1861, it was met with anger and despair by the US government because the CSA was indicated as a belligerent. The US position was this was an illegal rebellion and the CSA was a nonentity. This flies in the face of "readmitting a state". The original position was they never legally seceded so how can they be "readmitted"?
British proclamation of neutrality in the American Civil War - Wikisource, the free online library

Edit:
If in fact the states did secede and could be denied readmission, than it seems states can also be expelled.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,632
Dispargum
Thinking a little more on the subject, I can see the ejected state using the 14th Amendment to argue that it can't be thrown out of the union. Most of the people living in the ejected state were born US citizens. Under the equal protection clause they can't have their citizenship taken away nor can they be denied federal services that the US continues to provide to the other 49 states. Or so the lawyers would argue.

The US could argue that by kicking the state out of the union they had performed due process and there after could deny the people of the ejected state all of their citizen rights.
 
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