Can a US state secede?

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
13,938
Navan, Ireland
Yes, the US could occupy Texas against the popular opinion in that state. The Civil War and Reconstruction provide ample precedent. In the case of England/Scotland, there is a completely different set of laws in place there, and I will let the Brits work that out for themselves.
Not really asking about 'laws' , Britain has allowed an 'state' to leave the Union--Ireland--- and allowed referendums to on whether other 'states' to leave if they wished eg most recently Scotland and many Americans seem to have strong opinions on the subject.

So in the 21st century you would support 'Union' forces entering and occupy against the democratically expressed opinion of the people of a state eg Texas to enforce the Union ?

(please I don't think a situation likely and I use Texas simply because they have been a Sovereign state in modern times unlike Scotland, Ireland and Catalonia)
 
Likes: Futurist

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
13,938
Navan, Ireland
I take it you mean would Americans allow something like a Scottish referendum by one of the states.

I believe opinions would be mixed, and would change if theory become reality. In theory, most Americans would be willing to let a state withdraw. However, once you identify a state the thought process would open a huge can of worms and approval would drop. For example, it might sound harmless if Colorado wanted to be independent until youi realize this is where NORAD is. Most people would probably first ask about things like national debt and social security, and there would be no cutting those babies in two.
and that's not would happen with Scottish independence or even Brexit? or at least similar

And again I don't think it likely (although 10 years ago I would have said that about Brexit) and perhaps Alaska and Hawaii are more logical candidates than the 'Vermont Free State'
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,068
Dispargum
I'd have to consider the specific circumstances. It's possible Texas could convince me to support their secession movement, but not knowing the circumstances, I would most likely oppose secession by any state. Among the deciding factors would be if Texas or some other state had a permanent grievance. However, most arguments I hear for modern secession are for spurious reasons that will most likely be forgotten in a few years.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
13,938
Navan, Ireland
I'd have to consider the specific circumstances. It's possible Texas could convince me to support their secession movement, but not knowing the circumstances, I would most likely oppose secession by any state.
Even if there was genuine popular peaceful democratic --- as in the SNP in Scotland---- support for the notion in that state?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,068
Dispargum
Even if there was genuine popular peaceful democratic --- as in the SNP in Scotland---- support for the notion in that state?
Yes, see my edit to my previous post. Once you set aside the emotional issues, there is more that ties Texas to the rest of the country than there is that divides us. It would be stupid to allow Texas (or any other state) to secede now only to rejoin the union in 20 or 30 years once the emotional first blush of independence wears off.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,980
Caribbean
Every difference of opinion we have disappears once we both acknowledge that you are a Constitutional originalist and I am not. My Constitution is not limited to the founders and the Federalist Papers because my Constitution lives and breathes.
First, everyone is an originalist when he thinks he is the one being cheated. But i acknowledge your right to make up your own Constitution. Second, I am sorry, but I don't recall your rejection of the plain text reading. Third, that the text says one thing and you say something else is not a "difference of opinion" between us.

We've discussed this before. My answer is still a plain text reading of Article 1, Section 9, 2 of the US Constitution: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
You just wrote that you can make up your own Constitution (living and breathing), and now you are trying to talk plain text.?? Are you referring to A1-S9 to conflate the former (your Constitution) with the latter (the US Constitution). You do realize that in the real US Constitution Article 1 contains Congressional powers, not Presidential powers? Also, I said nothing about habeas corpus.

At first blush, I would not call Lincoln invading Maryland a violation of habeas corpus. In plain text, it sounds more like Lincoln is "levying war against [one of] them." Article III, Section 3.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,068
Dispargum
You just wrote that you can make up your own Constitution (living and breathing), and now you are trying to talk plain text.?? ... You do realize that in the real US Constitution Article 1 contains Congressional powers, not Presidential powers?
There is no contradiction between living and breathing and plain text if we understand that living and breathing means keeping those parts of the Constitution that still make sense and only discarding those parts that no longer make sense.

Yes, but Congress was not in session at the time. They did eventually indemnify Lincoln's action in 1863, effectively rubber stamping his action.

This reminds me of another difference I had noticed between us. You favor law as an abstract theory. I favor the practical aspects of effective government.


... Also, I said nothing about habeas corpus.

At first blush, I would not call Lincoln invading Maryland a violation of habeas corpus. In plain text, it sounds more like Lincoln is "levying war against [one of] them." Article III, Section 3.
Invading is a stretch, and Lincoln never arrested the entire legislature or state government. He arrested a few secessionist officials including two dozen or so legislators. Given the lack of law and order in Maryland at the time, it doesn't surprise me that Lincoln sent the army and not just a few marshals.

Interpreting Art III Section 3 as Lincoln making war against a state is far more of a stretch than whether or not Lincoln had arrest authority. "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them " two collectives, ie, all of the states or the federal government, not just one state. At least some of the states had treason statutes. If Maryland wanted to accuse Lincoln of treason against Maryland, they could try their luck in court, but there's that old federal supremacy clause. Only someone like Buchanan would argue that the states can make war on the federal government by firing upon Fort Sumter, but the federal government is not allowed to defend itself. Again, its abstract theory vs practical government.

There's also Art I, Section 8, 15: "[Congress shall have the power] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;" which they did by passing the Militia Act of 1795 authorizing the president to federalize state militias. Lincoln had full authority to use the army to suppress insurrection in Maryland, even state legislators if they were threatening an anti-war measure which they were (neutrality).
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,980
Caribbean
There is no contradiction between living and breathing and plain text if we understand that living and breathing means keeping those parts of the Constitution that still make sense and only discarding those parts that no longer make sense.
It still sounds like you want to claim both the right to make up your own version of these documents AND pass it off as real.

This reminds me of another difference I had noticed between us. You favor law as an abstract theory. I favor the practical aspects of effective government.
I have not even hinted at what I favor. Maybe I love fascism or communism. What I favor has nothing to do with this.

I take it as a matter of fact that the 13 States who convened in 1787 put forth not even a hint of the idea that they would create a President authorized to raise an army and conquer them.

Also, I hope you don't really expect anyone to believe that you favor lawless end-justies-the-means government - when that totalitarian government is pursuing ends you don't like. I know Kotromaniac doesn't like this, but there is a nice movie called Conspiracy, about the Wansee Conference. Stuckert (who authored the Nuremberg statutes) is arguing that the memo put forth by SS General (Heydrich) is replacing the statute with ad hoc law. Heydrich reponds, "The Furhrer's word is above all written law." In the same move, Heydrich warns Krisinger to be "practical" Oh boy, practical government.

Yes, but Congress was not in session at the time.
So? Lincoln's word is above written law? How very practical and effective. Are you able to juxtapose that with arguments in the southern causes documents that say they are seceding because Republicans can't be trusted to adhere to the Constitution?)

Invading is a stretch, and Lincoln never arrested the entire legislature or state government. He arrested a few secessionist officials
Are you now trying to morph the facts as well?

Lincoln's "few" arrests for the war range from a low estimate of 10,000 to a high of 30,000. He started in Maryland, but he did not stop there. These are US citizens - from the so-called "North." Others refer to many of these people as "Democrats," and they include people who could have run for office in 62 or 64. This included at least one sitting jduge and he tried to arrest the Chief Justice of the United Sates, but it looks like no one would carry out the order. His army was shooting citizens, first in Maryland, but also in Kentucky and Missouri; and looting their property. That's levying war against the United States. And Lincoln called it "invasion" even if you refuse to admit it.. It may be lowly originalism to you, but in its plain text, the Constitution makes no exception re "levying war against them" [the United States]. Nixon tried that with David Frost, "When the President does it, it's not a crime." Lincoln was no more authorized in invading states of the union than Nixon was to obstruct justice.

Lincoln apologists who some call "real" historians write that none of this is legal.
“Dictatorship played a decisive role in the North's successful effort to maintain the union by force of arms. One man was the government of the United States."
“Lincoln's amazing disregard for the Constitution was considered by no one as being legal.”
-- Clinton Rossier, Constitutional Dictatorship
(Almost no one, Mr. Rossier, I give you Chlodio).

Wouldn't it be easier to just admit you approve of all this end-justifies-the-means government because you like the ends; and stop trying to morph the Constitution and facts into something that they aren't? It would surely save me a lot of time. lol
 
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Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,980
Caribbean
Interpreting Art III Section 3 as Lincoln making war against a state is far more of a stretch than whether or not Lincoln had arrest authority. "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them " two collectives, ie, all of the states or the federal government, not just one state.
It's too bad for John Brown, he didn't have you for a lawyer. He was hanged for levying war against one State, one of "them." Not levying war against any "collective."
So you really believe that "against them," means you have to levy war against every single state or it's not treason? lol

And FWIW, the words "federal government" do not appear in the Constitution. That's just you (living and) breathing words into "your Constitution" that are not in the US Constitution.
 
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