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Doing it wrong

So, a bunch of people are signing these petitions for their state to secede from the union. This is a settled matter. A state cannot secede, that is illegal and treason. Unless you manage to pull it off, I guess.

Also, if you’re going to secede, you just kind of do it. You don’t ask permission. Geez.

I imagine it going more like this.

19 Responses to “Doing it wrong”

  1. Wyowanderer Says:

    You’ve got to admit that using President Liemouth’s own website for these petitions is pretty funny. Not to mention how it underscores the disdain much of the populace have for him.

  2. Dan Says:

    Maybe my social studies from the eighth grade is a little rusty but, why is it illegal to succeed?

  3. Pyrotek85 Says:

    It was illegal for the 13 colonies to declare independence from England too.

  4. Jim Says:

    Seems to me is that these people are just putting themselves on Barrry’s enemies list.

  5. Mu Says:

    Worked so well the last time; I’m stocking up on carpet bags.

  6. ankle Says:

    “It’s a settled matter,” just like it’s a settled matter that it’s Constitutional to restrict various of my inalienable rights even when I’m not bothering anyone. The decisions settling those matters were wrong.

  7. Geodkyt Says:

    Dan — shortly after the Civil War, SCOTUS ruled on the legality of secession, in a case involving the actions of the secessionist Texas legislature in regard to some state bonds.

    The ruling basically is just as stated above — secession is illegal, unless it is successful.

    The reason is that the ultimate “legitimacy” of secession or rebellion is determined by war (trial by combat), NOT by court actions.

    So, the Parlimentarian Cromwell government after the English Civil War, Phase 1 was legal because it won, the American Revolution was legal because we won, the Texas Revolution was legal because they won, etc. However, Shay’s Rebellion, Bacon’s Rebellion, the American Civil War, etc., were illegal because, ultimately, they lost.

  8. Mike Says:

    No, secession is not illegal; what is illegal is to attempt secession through violence and lose the war.

    In the case Geodkyt mentioned (Texas v. White, 1869), the USSC ruled:

    “The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.”

    Texas v. White basically said that the issue of the legality of secession is moot if the attempt (through revolution) is successful. The USSC HAD to say that, or be forced to opine that the American Revolution was illegal, thereby de-legitimizing the Constitution (and by extension all of the Constitutional branches, to include the USSC).

    However, Texas v. White also acknowledged that secession could be accomplished via consent of the States. Therefore, a petition filed by a State legislature, requesting a peaceful dissolution of existing bonds, is on perfectly sound legal grounds. With the agreement of the rest of the States, a secession followed through that path would also be legally valid and legitimate. It would be no different than the secession of Slovakia from the Czech Republic: peaceful, mutually-agreed upon divorce of nations.

    Thus, there are two legal means for secession: successful violent revolution, or grant of secession via petition to the various States. What made the 1860 secession attempt illegal is pretty straightforward: the South lost. Might makes right and all.

  9. Mike Says:

    Oh, and if these people are serious about secession, they ought to be petitioning their State legislatures to draft a Resolution of Peaceful Secession.

    That Resolution can be submitted directly to the other States directly, individually, or it can be submitted to the Congress for it to submit an Amendment for consideration:

    “Be it known that, as of the date of enactment of this Amendment, under the provisions specified in the Constitution, the State of [ ] is no longer bound to this Union, does not owe fealty or favors to this Union, and is free to join the Community of Nations as an Independent State.”


    I doubt that a seceding State would get the agreement of the other States, but it is perfectly legal to attempt to secure their consent.

  10. Geodkyt Says:

    If the other (loyalist) states choose not to violently oppose secession and instead recognize them diplomatically as a seperate nation, then the secessionist war is won without firing a shot.

  11. Ron W Says:

    There is nothing in the Constitution which defines secession of States as “illegal or “treason”. Article III, Section 3 defines “treason” as giving aid or confort to the enemies of the States…which incidentially was done during “Fast and Furious”.

    Free and Independent States ending a voluntary association when the contract which created a governing union (Constitution) is repeatedly violated is a very good thing.

  12. Tam Says:

    Ron W,

    Yes, but then I couldn’t have used my Harington spoof.

  13. Jeff from DC Says:

    But if Texas secedes, where will all those electorial votes go? Can California have them?

  14. Standard Mischief Says:

    Ron W,

    I didn’t know we were at war with Mexico.

  15. Divemedic Says:

    But the Confederate states MUST have seceded, and it must have been constitutional AND legal, else West Virginia could not exist. After all, a state cannot be formed from within the borders of another state.

  16. Kristophr Says:

    Mike: Texas might have had a legal leg to stand on in 1860 if they had seceded but had NOT joined the CSA.

    When they joined the CSA, the Republic of Texas was then in a state of war with the USA.

    The rest of the CSA was forced back into the USA when their rebellion was put down. Texas was conquered.

    Conquered states do not get to cite and use old treaties.

  17. Guav Says:

    At least nineteen states have put up petitions seeking the right to secede from the rest of the country. With the exception of Texas and a few others, almost all of them are moochers—they receive far more federal spending per dollar than the federal taxes they pay. They can’t sustain themselves. If Mississippi or Louisiana were to secede, they wouldn’t even be able to pay for stop signs.

  18. SayUncle Says:

    “they wouldn’t even be able to pay for stop signs.”

    No state would be able to. Feds are too involved in road funding.

  19. Guav Says:

    Fine, but you know that’s not really my point haha