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Does a state have the right to secede from the union?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Please fellas, no name calling. I'd like to have a serious discussion about secession, and whether or not a state(s) have the right to do so. I'm curious about the legal angles, and different opinions people may have on the topic. Please try to be civil, and if you act like a douche, I'll ask you to leave. Huzzah! As if my asking someone to leave actually means anything. :D Seriously though, let's leave the diarea to one of the other threads in the forum. Thanks in advance!
  2. STFarmy

    STFarmy Rookie

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    It's a tricky question. Technically, yes, but we all know what happened the last time they tried it. I think some interesting reading on it is Secession debated: Georgia’s showdown in 1860, which is a collection of arguments from both sides from the secession crisis before the Civil War, edited by William W. Freehling, Craig M. Simpson.

    Personally, I think it should only be treated as a nuclear option.
  3. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I say yes, if it is the preference of the majority of the state residents. Why not?
  4. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    I think Texas is a different situation then other states. I think Texas was a country in name at first and agreed to join the union. What the govenor is saying is that since it was a country, and agreed to join then it could back out of that agreement. Personally the only reason i wouldn't want to see it happen is ripple effect, where one state after another decides to leave because they don't like a particular president.

    Seriously i think texas would be in trouble if they did this, i don't think they'd make it on their own, if they hope to have the same standard of living.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  5. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey


    Sure they could make it on their own. Why not?

    Making it on your own is not some kind of accomplishment for a country.

    Ethiopia is sovereign.
  6. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it has to do with the Texas Annexation Treaty or something flex, but more or less, I think you are correct. I'm going to look it up.

    As for the latter part, there I will disagree. I think Texas would absolutely survive on it's own. It's coastal, would border two countries, and has natural resources, with an advantageous climate. Geographically I think it'd be in a spot where it could succeed pretty well. I could be wrong of course. Oh, but I do agree with you on the ripple effect it could potentially create. I don't want any state to secede from the union, but, being a big believer in state's rights, I think all should have the legal right to. I just hope it never happens.
  7. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    Yeah thats true, i mean with the same standard of living. I'm willing to bet that they have to import almost everything including energy. I don't think they have an abundance of natural resources. A good deal of Texas isn't condusive to farming,(although i could be dead wrong on that.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  8. godef

    godef Rookie

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    So, no "civil wars?" ;)
  9. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Cambridge would get NASA back.
  10. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    To my earlier point - - you just described Ethiopia.
  11. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I also described a lot of other productive countries in the world. Texas would be a sovereign nation on the border of the United States, with coastal shipping, transit to central America & Mexico (manufacturing, imports, etc.), and an advantageous climate. Ethiopia doesn't border the worlds largest economy, the last time I checked. Furthermore, think of the laws a sovereign Texas could pass, that would attract US, and global business' to it's state. None of this is a guarantee that it would be a success. I'm merely saying that it would be in a pretty good starting point. If North Dakota went solo, it would be a tougher sell fiscally I think. Texas not so much.
  12. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    A quick Google turned up this interesting article from 2004. It's worth a read if you got the time.

    FindLaw's Writ - Dorf: Does the Constitution Permit the Blue States to Secede?

    Some excerpts:

    The Argument for a Right of Unilateral Secession: A Pact Among the States

    The U.S. Constitution does not expressly recognize or deny a right of secession. Accordingly, the argument for a right of unilateral secession begins (and pretty much ends) with a claim about the very nature of the Constitution.

    That document, by the terms of its Article VII, only obtained legal force through the ratification by nine states, and then only in the states so ratifying it. Because the Constitution derived its initial force from the voluntary act of consent by the sovereign states, secessionists argued, a state could voluntarily and unilaterally withdraw its consent from the Union.

    In this view, the Constitution is a kind of multilateral treaty, which derives its legal effect from the consent of the sovereign parties to it. Just as sovereign nations can withdraw from a treaty, so too can the sovereign states withdraw from the Union.
  13. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    The Arguments Against a Right of Unilateral Secession

    Most of the arguments against a right of unilateral secession can be found in President Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address of March 1861. But as University of Texas Law Professor Sanford Levinson observes in a recent article in the Tulsa Law Review (and in condensed form in an April 2003 column on this site), Lincoln's case against a unilateral right of secession is hardly airtight.

    The Judgment of War and the Supreme Court: No Right of Unilateral Secession

    Perhaps the best argument for Lincoln's view is one that he did not make expressly, but that can fairly be inferred from his general approach: Whatever the status of the states when they entered the Union, they perpetually gave up important attributes of sovereignty in doing so. Among these was--and is--a right of unilateral secession.

    In this view, it is significant that Article VII sets out the provision for original ratification, and that Article IV empowers Congress to admit new States, but that no provision of the Constitution authorizes a state to leave the Union. The juxtaposition of what the Constitution says about states entering the Union and what it does not say about them leaving, indicates that the door to the Union swings in but not out.
  14. Synovia

    Synovia Rookie

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    Does it even matter?


    If one of the states tried, there'd be marines moving across the border within 8 hours.
  15. STFarmy

    STFarmy Rookie

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    Good stuff RW. I'm familiar with the old school arguments for/against secession, and these don't seem to be too different. I'll give 'em a look when I get home today. Pretty interesting thread. And no crap so far!
  16. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    A powerful entity wouldn't easily allow itself to be weakened. Secession weakens the nation, by definition. I'm beginning to think that we regard Lincoln as a great American hero not so much because he freed slaves (good job), but because he preserved the union and set the stage for American power.
  17. Leave No Doubt

    Leave No Doubt PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's a bingo imo.
    As to states seceding, sometime after Palin came on the scene as the VP candidate I remember hearing Alaska also had a faction of people who also pushed for secession. I don't know how recent that push was but it wasn't from back in the goldrush days,it was fairly recent times.

    I'm not sure whatever happened with that Trancontinental Texas Highway that was proposed or maybe even started awhile ago. People in Texas were in an uproar about it; it was supposed to connect all 3 nations and run right through the middle of the US. So if you believe there's some kind of NAU on the back burner this situation should get more interesting indeed.
  18. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    you are both right and wrong.......the western half is not that conducive to farming, but the eastern half is.......they have pleny of land to grow their own food.......the western half is conducive to cattle ranching, though

    texas has people, industry, agriculture, and energy to sustain itself quite well...........it also has the commercial ports for commerce and is fairly well strategically placed

    once this sort of movement gethered steam, there are a few states nearby that would consider joining in.... OK, LA, NE, KA combined with TX would make a sizeable country on its own
  19. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I'd like to keep Nebraska.
  20. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    who cares what you like...........you're clueless anyway

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