Can a US state secede?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,668
Republika Srpska
Example, there is one that says "abuse" of the compact, and does not say who must be engaging in such abuse. You say, "intolerably oppressing" a state, and that it must be the "federal government."
Then who else can abuse a compact and intolerably oppress a state and force it to secede? Another state?
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,407
Caribbean
While many states asserted a right of secession, did any of them deny the right of other states to secede? Was the question ever asked, 'If a member state wants to leave the union, can the other states claim the seceding state owes them an obligation?'
Maybe not in so many words, but it was surely answered.

In the same passage of Madison's Notes cited earlier, he says that treaties can have "exceptions" by which "delinquent" states may be "compelled." But these do not exist in the Articles or Constitution,. And that is doubled down by the reservation clauses, and those reservations clauses are also in the ratification documents.

Again Fed 43 (Madison), "...no political relation can subsist between the assenting and dissenting States."
And Fed 39 (Madison), "...Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act."

I believe it is difficult to imagine, because the modern government out of Washington DC bears no resemblance to what is written on these pages. We are told the Constitution is the oldest governing document, and that may cause people to think how it is now, is how it always was. How many times have you put your hand over your heart and said, "one nation, indivisible." Clearly, the founders were describing 13 nations, very divisible. lol
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,632
Dispargum
Did you see this edit to my last post?

Edit: What I'm saying is that all of these claims to a right of secession are failing to consider the other side of the arguement - what does a state do when the federal government refuses to acknowledge a right of secesion? These claimed rights of secession are unworkable short of armed revolution.
Does that change your answer?
 

Code Blue

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Feb 2015
4,407
Caribbean
Then who else can abuse a compact and intolerably oppress a state and force it to secede? Another state?
Again, you say intolerable oppression, I quoted several laws and Federalist Papers that say "safety" and/or "happiness."

Even though it seems you are not paying attention, I will venture again into the void, and suggest answers to your question might be cleverly hidden in the "causes of secession" documents of 1860-61 (where no one would ever think to look for them) to see what other people might call "abuse," Just off memory, because I am not doing another analysis like the last one just to have it ignored::

States
1. 11(?) states passed statutes nullifying the FSA of 1850.
2. Nine states made it a felony for people from other states to look for runaways (with punishment up to 15 years + a fine).
3. When slave-catchers are murdered, there is no arrest and trial.
4. If I am not mistaken, one of the abuses claimed echoes the Declaration and I pointed this out to you within the last few days. Like King George 3, there were northerners trying to "incite" the slaves to rebel - which some complained de-tranquilizes "domestic tranquility."
The Courts
5 The Lemon case in NY.
6. The Abelman case in WI.

That's a partial list. I don't have the energy to recall the imagined "abuses" of the federal government.
 

Code Blue

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Feb 2015
4,407
Caribbean
Did you see this edit to my last post?

Does that change your answer?
Yes and No, "respectively" (as it says in the Constitution) I thought to mention your "edit" was considered, but it just seemed like a better way to ask the same question.

I really appreciate your inquiries. You get it.

Editorial comment: One of the things you may notice is something I tried to explain before as "common authorship." It's really a concerted effort taking place in multiple places at multiple times effecting a remarkable degree of consensus. These States - on paper - are taking no chances. The words of the Tenth amendment are in the same ratification laws. Other reserved rights are in the State Constitutions. They did everything they could - on paper - to circumscribe the federal powers and preserve their right to self-determination. As a person who has had to craft rules and regulations professionally, I am in awe of their abilities. Outside of perhaps the Dutch Constitution, and Madison studied it, they have no template. This is from scratch.

But, the Constitution was visibly a "rush job," and it did have some flaws, IMO, with a couple of fixes, the big states would have ratified unanimously like the small states did, instead of having the thing barely eek by,. And perhaps then, it would have "long endured." I suspect that when aging emeritus Franklin said, of his last great public act, "A republic. If you can keep it." He knew they couldn't .One way or another, IMO, in the US, virtually no one wants the government they have on paper.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,668
Republika Srpska
It is obvious that Code Blue and I are reading the same documents in two different ways. Therefore, I will now clarify my opinion on this subject and attempt to answer the question of this thread.

I believe that the ACW for all intents and purposes resolved the issue of secession and decided that it is not possible. The situation before the ACW is more complicated as evidenced by all the documents quoted in this thread. My overall opinion is that the Founders did allow secession in extraordinary circumstances, those circumstances being the federal government turning into a tyrannical government which IMO makes a lot of sense considering America's background and its fight against what it saw as a tyrannical government in London.

@Code Blue
I love that you mentioned the Fugitive Slave Law. No document better illustrates the South's hypocrisy than that law. For a region so obssesed with states rights', you would think they would respect the rights of other states but they instead threw a hissy fit because FREE states weren't willing to support a law that basically allowed slave catchers to capture free blacks and take them into slavery. That law basically made the entire Union a slave territory. If anything, the North was the one oppressed in this case. Your 3rd point is also not true. After the battle of Christiana in which anti-slavery Quakers clashed with Maryland slavecatchers president Fillmore sent the marines and they arrested more than 30 blacks and a half-dozen anti-slavery whites and the courts charged them WITH TREASON.
 
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Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,407
Caribbean
It is obvious that Code Blue and I are reading the same documents in two different ways.
From what you have posted, I don't see where you read the ones I quoted, AT ALL. You posted not one word and are just making a hasty retreat and trying to cover your tracks.

Therefore, I will now clarify my opinion on this subject and attempt to answer the question of this thread. I believe that the ACW for all intents and purposes resolved the issue of secession and decided that it is not possible.
No one has questioned that he who has more guns wins - and rewrites the history. You don't need to Fifth the Motion. (Watch out, I can still see the tracks of your hasty retreat).

No document better illustrates the South's hypocrisy than that law.
You think found a hypocrite in politics? Wow. I'll alert the Nobel Committee. There must be an award. (BTW, your explanation of their hypocrisy is as much a pile of bunk as it is off topic).

There is nothing more deleterious to the attempt to have a probing and intelligent conversation about the Founding documents of the United States - than the incessant and irrepressible anti-Southern bigotry that haunts this forum. That's why you are beating a hasty retreat. A fulsome expose of the actual laws of the land hit the phobia button - OMG - the South might be "right" about something. We can't admit that. Cognitive dissonance alert. Run, run, run.

It would seem that for some, the Civil War ended certain question, but the war itself hasn't ended. lol

I hope Jax returns. He may throw mud balls, but at least he keeps pitching.
.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,668
Republika Srpska
From what you have posted, I don't see where you read the ones I quoted, AT ALL. You posted not one word and are just making a hasty retreat and trying to cover your tracks.
I never posted a word? Okay, let's just pretend post #122 doesn't exist. I have read your quotes, I really found nothing in them that explicitly contradicts Madison's letters or the text of the Virginia Ordinance. They are worded differently, but the essence is pretty much the same.

You think found a hypocrite in politics? Wow. I'll alert the Nobel Committee. There must be an award. (BTW, your explanation of their hypocrisy is as much a pile of bunk as it is off topic).
The South: the federal government must respect states' rights and must not in any way limit them.
The North: *exercises states' rights*
The South: damn Yankees, if you don't force to obey this law they obviously find abhorrent we will secede and cause chaos.

There is nothing more deleterious to the attempt to have a probing and intelligent conversation about the Founding documents of the United States - than the incessant and irrepressible anti-Southern bigotry that haunts this forum.
Sorry I am not head over heels with the region that caused one of the bloodiest wars just because they were afraid that someone would prevent them from keeping human beings as property. And after the war, instead of facing the facts like Germany did, they continued with the narrative that they were the victims and instituted the laws that discriminated an entire group of people based on skin colour (I know the North was also extremely racist, so just to make that clear so you can't scream "the North was just as bad"). And yes, I understand the Southerners in 1861, they were born into this culture and suddenly this man is elected as president and you know this man opposes one of the fundamental aspects of your culture. I understand why Lincoln was unpopular in the South, but this does not justify the South's actions.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,407
Caribbean
The North: *exercises states' rights*
1. I am not going to help you sidetrack this thread.
2. I am going to be off for a while anyway, so it may be a few days before I read your dazzling riposte.
3. There is no "Right" to break the law,. No individual right, no federal right, no state right, None.

Sorry I am not head over heels with the region that caused
Apologizing for it is not a license to continue.

So, let me say I am sorry. Maybe I can do a better job. I am sorry. I have been reading some of Mein Kampf over the last weeks, and my tolerance to intolerance is currently in short supply.
 
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sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,661
San Diego
The Constitution makes no provision for states - at all. It makes prohibitions for states. Leaving the union, as you put it, is not prohibited.
It defines who has what powers. That defines what a State can and can not do. The State has No authority to define its own powers- it can only define powers that the Constitution does not reserve for the Union.


I Don't mean to be disrespectful, but you made this up, or got this from someone who did.
Starting with the fourteenth state, all states joined the union on "equal footing" with the other states in all respects. The equal footing doctrine is in the NW Ordinance and all the acts by which new states were admitted. The states are, by law, equal. (They would be anyway. The Constitution provides no basis to discriminate).
Um- seriously? The territories had to APPLY for Statehood. They had to meet criteria specified by the federal government.
They had to be voted in by congress.
That is the federal government GRANTING the status of statehood.
If they had to be VOTED in... they would have to be Voted out.

IF you SIGN a contract- you can not simply decide to exit that contract. You are held to the contract by force of law.

Ask UTAH what rights a territory had...




Look in the Constitution for the verb delegated. It's in a sentence that makes it clear who is the delegator. Also, both Article VII and the fact that all the representatives at the Philadelphia Convention were representatives of States should tell you who is the author of the document.
This is your error in logic. You, like others making similar erroneous claims, imagine the federal government as being a separate thing from the States. it isn't.
it is the Community of states.

Of Course the States authored the document. Just as the parties to any contract author the document. The contract does not have to specify that you can't just pull out of the contract at will... its a CONTRACT.

The contract sets up a central authority COMPOSED of the member States. That Authority has the power to define what States can and can not do- to wit: an amendment passed by the majority of States APPLIES even to those States that voted against it... and they have no right to refuse.

Congress IS your fellow states' representatives.
And THEY have authority over who gets to join the contract.
Ergo- they have authority over who gets to renege.

The federal government is a Contract entered into that defines what a state is ( it does, actually- it defines the basics of their governments, and how they interact with the federal government.) You don't get to pull out of a contract just because you want to.
If the South had NOT had the exact same rights as all other states, they could have claimed the Union breached the contract... as the declaration of independence made clear that Britain's treatment of the colonies was a breach of British rights.

Oh- and it does not matter that you have not mentioned the South- in exploring the question of whether States have the right to secede, the ONE EXAMPLE we have of States seceding is the test case that settles the issue. The South claimed they had the right to renege on the contract they agreed to.
The North ENFORCED that contract and proved they had no such right.

If you don't recognize that as a legal precedent... then you just don't understand law.
 
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