4 Reasons Why Secession Talk is Nonsense

by Scott Manning on November 13, 2012

My Facebook feed and Inbox have become inundated with the news that there are online petitions for at least 30 states to secede from the Union. Here is why the entire hubbub is nonsense.

First, most of these petitioners do not appreciate what it would mean to secede. Several of the petitions state they want their state to leave the Union “peacefully.” There is no peaceful secession. People like Texas Governor Sam Houston understood this in 1861 and we should understand it now. If a state genuinely tries to secede, the state will be in rebellion. It will result in war.

Second, we already settled the issue of secession 147 years ago and the secessionists lost. People like to say, “Elections have consequences.” Well, wars have consequences too. It does not matter why they seceded back in 1860-61; what matters is they lost their bid for secession on the battlefield.

Third, these petitioners are in the minority and they are only gaining attention due to the extremity of their request. The media rarely covers moderates and their sensible opinions. Some of us voted for Romney because we thought he was more qualified to handle the economy, but the last thing we would want is secession over his loss. That sort of talk does not make a good headline though.

Fourth, and most importantly, every modern state lacks the political complexion to support secession. In 1860, Lincoln received ZERO votes in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, all of which seceded. Lincoln was not even on their ballots. So when Lincoln won the election, folks in these states struggled with the fact that no one they knew actually voted for the president-elect. Even then, the people of these states did not unanimously support secession. We do not have the same situation in America today. President Obama won at least one district in every state except Oklahoma and even there, he still won 33% of the popular vote. Anyone in any state can find someone who voted for the president in his or her state.

Secession is not happening. Those that support it do not appreciate or understand the full implications of it. They are in the minority.

Stop it.

And stop giving it attention.

2012 Presidential Election Map

Update 11/14/2012: Brian Schoeneman has more reasons why secession talk is nonsense.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Duane Brown November 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Interesting article. You smoke cigars, do ya?

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2 Scott Manning November 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Absolutely. Saturday looks unseasonably warm up here in Philly. I may have to light one up then.

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3 Rich November 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Great article. I just posted a lengthy Facebook rant about secession posts on my wall. Even if it was allowed to happen, what about the economic implications:

I would expect the following things to happen:
…1) Borders would be immediatly closed and passports would be required for the citiziens of the newly independent nations of the south to travel into the US. Furthermore the US passports of these folks would be invalid and the new countries would have to issue new passports. That would mean ambassadors and diplomatic relations being established all over the world.
2) All US Federal support would end. No US funds for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Social Security Disablility, etc. New Orleans, you would be in deep sh….water as soon the Army Corps of Engineers leaves. All military bases and equipment would be evacuated back to the US as would all other Federal property. I’m sure your farmers don’t rely on subsidy payments or price supports, which is good, because those are done too. Oh yeah, and all those Federal employees would suddenly be jobless. Wonder how you’ll get your mail?
3) Any of your citizens with jobs in the US would have to apply for Visas to keep those jobs, you would have to start up your own processes to provide Visas for citizens of all other nations to work within your borders.
4) Many companies that manufacture in your new nations would pull out because it would no longer be economically feasible to export your products to the US. There go a bunch more jobs.

Those are a few of my points. So let’s just drop the silly talk!

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4 marsouin November 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Yes, but when the national government collapses under the weight of out of control rent-seeking and rent-extraction stemming from the New Deal constitution, DC aid to the states will dry up. Good. Secession is the only long-term solution.

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5 Manuel November 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Well said! Can I please share this on Facebook? Likewise, I have friends advocating this ridiculous secession that has no absolute backbone to it.

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6 Scott Manning November 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Manuel, absolutely. Share away!

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7 Matthew November 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

As I understand it this happens quite often. Petition gains enough signatures for consideration, government denies their request, they sue, suit gets thrown out, repeat every 4-5 years.

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8 Mike Corsi November 14, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I never realized Lincoln wasn’t even on the ballot in most of the South and still won the election! Crazy, was the 3/5 ths law in effect at the time? It seems to show in population how much bigger the north was. Btw, I really enjoy your work you should keep it up.

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9 Scott Manning November 14, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Thanks Mike. The 3/5ths law was still in effect, which would have shifted or assigned delegates every 10 years after the census. However, the 11 states that seceded only had a population of roughly 9 million, 4 million of which were slaves. The northern states had roughly three times the population.

With multiple candidates, Lincoln just had to win everything north of the Mason-Dixon Line and he had control. Big states like New York had 35 delegates and Pennsylvania had 27 delegates. Here is a better visual on the electoral count for 1860.

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10 Dan November 14, 2012 at 3:19 PM

1) Declaring independence is normally not peaceful because the established government makes it violent. See the Revolutionary War. Waged by a bunch of “rebels”.
2) If you are totally correct on a subject or an argument, but then I fight you and kick your butt, does that make you wrong? This is your logic in the second point. According to you, might = right.
3) This does not touch on whether a sovereign political entity, voluntarily attached to other sovereign entities through a written contract, has the right to leave the voluntary contract or re-declare independence. Hint: They do.
4) Agreed. I do not think the people of these United States are ready to come off of the federal welfare and borrowing power of the federal government.

For further reading on why declaring independence is a right of these United States, see the Declaration of Independence, Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799, West Virginia secession, the ratification of the US Constitution by Virginia, and more if you wish to go that far. But please, don’t just dimiss this. This is a fundamental philosophical point on freedom. The point remains the same: States have the right to secede as much as the colonies had a right to secede.

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11 Scott Manning November 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Dan, interesting thoughts. A few responses for you.

2) For the sake of discussion, let us pretend the winners of the Civil War were wrong. The outcome of the war still puts the onerous on future secessionists to be prepared to fight a war for their independence.

3) According to Texas vs. White (1869), they do not. In addition, there is nowhere in the Constitution that allows a state to leave the Union.

I will agree with you that “states have the right to secede as much as the colonies had a right to secede,” if you agree that to execute the right requires war in both instances. All of the examples you pointed to are superseded by the outcome of the Civil War and Texas vs. White. If a state wants to secede today, it can only execute that right through war. There will never be a “peaceful” secession.

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12 Dan November 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM

2) The outcome of the war only solidifies the centralized power and control of the federal government over the very entities that created it. You are right that anyone who wants to leave this “free” country voluntarily will have to fight their way out. Freedom is a fragile thing and being forced to stay in a contractual deal against your will only erodes liberty. The federal government is an agent of the states created for special purposes as outlined in the Constitution. This is overly evident by reading the Constitutional Convention journals, the ratification debates, the Federalist Papers, and perhaps the best book ever written on the Constitution, John Taylor’s “New Views of the Constitution of the United States.”

3) Texas vs. White was a case heard directly after the conclusion of the “Civil War” in which hundreds of thousands of people died. Now it wouldn’t be politically prudent for agents of the federal government (supreme court justices) to basically conclude at the end of such a bloody war to agree that the states did in fact have the right to secede and all those people died for nothing, now would it? With that bogus ruling aside (yes, bogus if you read it because it’s logic is tortured at best), the war did not change the nature of the Constitution. The states still created the federal government. The federal government is still an agent of the states. The states still ratified the Constitution and qualified their agreement to join the union by reserving the right to reclaim all powers delegated to the general government. The Declaration of Independence is still based on the right of people to self-govern, to have the right to self-determination. The war (or four judges) did not change the very nature of liberty and the right to be free of despotism. Superseded!? That’s absurd. So by this logic, the Constitution itself was re-written by a bloody war and four judges.

The states undoubtely have the right to leave the Union. The federal government has NO right to initiate force, kill, and conquer a sovereign country (state) for asserting its right to self government and leaving a voluntary union. There may be a peaceful secession when the federal government goes bankrupt. ;-)

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13 Glitch December 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Guys, extremely good exchange that just emphasizes
how difficult a topic it is… You both seem to be correct from
your perspectives…. (Almost the classic argument between “what is”
and “what ought to be”)

Obviously the framers and state reps that authored and ratified
the constitution believed in the right to secede… And had just fought
a war to “secure those liberties”…. The right existed, but had to be secured.

Thanks to you both.

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14 Brian W. Schoeneman November 14, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Folks who want to compare the Revolution with secession are missing a considerable difference – even most of the founders did not want to revolt. They wanted their grievances resolved within the confines of their relationship with Great Britain. When it became clear that they were not going to have those grievances addressed, they felt they had little choice. They had zero influence on the political process in Great Britain, and the King was engaging in what they viewed as unconstitutional actions in ignoring their petitions.

The situation in 1860 and the situation today are far different. No one can claim they were disenfranchised – everyone’s vote counted, and both Lincoln and Obama won fair and square. We aren’t talking about a train of abuses that have gone unacknowledged for decades. We’re talking about two elections people didn’t like. It’s not even comparable.

As for the legality of secession, that was decided both by the war and by the Supreme Court. The states gave up their ability to leave the union when they joined it, along with the other powers of sovereign states they gave up in Article I Section 10.

The Constitution is not a contract. It is not a compact between sovereign states. It is not a treaty. It is the governing document of an entire, indivisible nation.

For the folks who think secession is a good idea, I guess they must either have refused or were lying every time they recited the pledge of allegiance.

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15 Elizabeth November 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Points well stated, and present a coherent argument. Bottom line, we all disagree with government actions at one time or another – live with it.

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16 Dan November 14, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Oh, one more thing. The Constitution actually does say that States can leave the Union: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

I do not see a delegated power granting the general government the authority to wage war on the states for leaving the Union. In the absence of a power granted, the states retain all powers. By your logic, the absence of a specific sentence giving the states the right to do something means that the states cannot do anything since no where in the Constitution does it list the powers of the states. There are far too many state powers to list because the nature of the Constitution is this: 13 sovereign political entities (with all the powers) enumerated and delegated a very finite amount of power to a special committee or Union to exercise those powers, mostly for dealing with external affairs, e.g. foreign trade, defense. So you are right that no where in the Constitution does it explicitly spell out that a state has the power to secede but neither does it list ANY other state power. So can states tax? Pass any laws not granted to them the Constitution?

I think I will turn our conversation into a good, long, and researched essay (nice way of saying blog post). :-) Thanks.

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17 Scott Manning November 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Dan, I do not believe that sentence can be translated into a state having the power to leave the Union unilaterally. There are plenty of Federal laws covering items not in the constitution.

“I think I will turn our conversation into a good, long, and researched essay (nice way of saying blog post).”

I look forward to reading it. :)

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18 Glitch December 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Please do, l look forward to it

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19 Matthew November 15, 2012 at 1:39 AM

If leaving the union is a right reserved to the states just because it isn’t expressly prohibited in the Constitution, then states preventing such a thing would also be a right reserved because it that isn’t prohibited either. But the 10th Amendment doesn’t even apply to Secession the raising of armies and the entering into compacts between states is prohibited by Sec. 1o of Article 1.

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20 Brian W. Schoeneman November 15, 2012 at 9:07 AM

The 10th Amendment does not allow for secession. Secession is not a power, it is – theoretically speaking – a right. The Constitution doesn’t provide any rules regarding when war is legitimate – it simply requires authorization by Congress. There is nothing in the document that says that one type of war is okay and another isn’t. States leaving the union would, by both precedent and common sense, be in a state of rebellion against the federal government and that’s a more than legitimate reason to go to war, and has been for millenia.

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21 Mick November 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Need to read your Hohfeld, Brian. See Wesley N. Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning, 23 Yale L.J. 16 (1913) (defining “power,” generally, to mean the ability to effect a change in legal relations).

Of course secession is madness and is extra-constitutional, as John Randolph of Roanoke recognized. I would note, however, that the last point deserves an asterisk, in that the qualifications for exercise of the franchise (and appearance on the ballot) were anything like they were in the 1860s, the percentages of persons voting for President Obama would be extremely low in many states.

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22 zack November 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I’m from the state of Georgia. It’s baffling and sad to see how many people around me hate what our country is becoming. I don’t understand why. These are people I looked up to while growing up, who taught me what it means to be an American. Their Influence drove me to join the military and serve, which I did for 4 years. It’s confusing to figure out what is so bad and why they wont listen to reason anymore. I was almost all but dis-owned for voting for President Obama, but it was my choice, my reasons. Georgia didn’t give its electoral votes to Obama obviously. But what i cant figure out is why, the people I once admired, believe Obama hasn’t heard their disapproval, and why they think he is so horrible. Robert E. Lee is a hero here in the south and remembered as the general who told Lincoln that ‘as Virginia goes, I go’ As much as I love my state, I stand by my country more. That division has strained my family but I know I’m doing what’s right. Am I Alone?

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23 Carl November 21, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Right: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security” Declaration of Independence

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24 Carl November 21, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Reasons:

1. Lack of border protection thus allowing swarms of illegal immigrants to come and live off the good graces of the people. Damaging our culture, language and lowering our security as sovereign citizens of our respective States and of America.

2. Creating new offices and appointing new officers with out the consent of the people to come and harass the Sovereign citizens and deprive them of liberty and other properties without due cause or process. This has chiefly come from the creation of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

3. A judicial system that has overstepped its boundaries and disregarded the demands of the people and both Houses of Congress.

4. The Supreme Court passing laws that not only are unconstitutional but taking and ruling on case which have no Constitutional grounds what so ever.

5. By allowing imminent domain and taking by force private property to be given to corporation and individuals with large financial resources.

6. The Congress has acted on fear and not on law with regards to war.

7. The President engaging in an unconstitutional war and sending over 2,000 Sovereign citizens to their death.

8. By allowing convicted murders and molesters to walk free from justice after serving only a few years in prison.

9. By passing resolutions against the Judeo-Christian foundation of our country and demanding the removal of the Ten Commandments from public buildings despite the outrage of the citizenry.

10. By forcefully removing judges from office because they refused to disobey their oath to uphold the laws of their State.

11. The federal government has placed the military in a separate and superior position to the citizen armies and militia and placed them over the populace.

12. The federal government has allowed incorrect facts about history to be taught thus lowering and removing our children’s pride in their heritage and culture.

13. The federal government has allowed special interest groups to govern local policies.

14. The federal government has failed to act quickly in times of natural disasters locally yet they rapidly send 10s of millions of dollars to nations thousands of miles away.

15. By allowing the American Indian populations to continue to live in substandard housing and forcing them to remain on reservations.

16. By depriving many Sovereign citizens the right to trial and jury in effort to speed up the governments own agenda.

17. The federal government has kept many medical drugs from being available to the public due to the bureaucracy and greed of the FDA and large companies.

18. By not placing restrictions on oil companies thus forcing the people to pay record prices and the companies receive record profits.

19. The federal government has violated the 1st Amendment by placing restrictions on the private citizen’s ability to worship, by placing regulations on the free press, by implementing large fines in order for the people to peaceably assemble.

20. The federal government has violated the 2nd Amendment by placing fines and restrictions on gun ownership and in several cases denying that right to law abiding citizens all together.

21. The federal government has violated the 4th Amendment by searching and seizing the properties of Sovereign citizens without probable cause or due process and in some cases without a warrant issued by a judge.

22. The federal government has violated the 8th Amendment by imposing bails of over 1 million dollars in many cases.

23. The federal government has violated the 9th Amendment in using far fetched laws and rulings to deny the rights of the Sovereign citizen.

24. The federal government has violated the 10th Amendment by refusing the right of the people to secede peacefully in 1860, and by passing rulings and resolutions with no bases in Constitutional Law.

25. The federal government has in times passed, authorized the suspension of Habeas Corpus and passed ex post facto laws in direct violation of the Constitution.

26. The federal government has numerous times usurped the Constitutions of the several States.

27. The federal government has given partial sovereignty to the United Nations thus lessening our ability to rule ourselves as we see fit.

28. The federal government not only has violated its own laws but the international laws of which the government has aligned its self, to wit;

Article 2 Declaration of Human Rights – denied rights to Sovereign citizens based on their political opinion.

Article 3 – Allowing the mass murder of children.

Article 12 – Interfering with the private lives of individuals and their families without cause.

Article 17 – Violating the right of the individual to own property, and having it arbitrarily removed.

Article 23 – The federal government has allowed corporations to deny the citizens right to join a union.

Article 25 – Denying the rights of the Sovereign citizens and the American Indians to have a standard of living adequate to maintain good health and well being.

29. The Southern States never surrendered and thus according to law are still an independent sovereign nation.

30. The federal government refused the rights of some 2 million Southerners after the War for Southern Independence.

31. The federal government has violated and broken the rights and regulation set forth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights thus nullifying them and rendering the union between governments and State ineffective.

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25 jaimehlers December 7, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Did it really take 31 points to demonstrate your sheer ignorance of these things you speak of, Carl? Just to pick one single point:

29: By the time the Confederacy was finally defeated, there was no functioning government left. Therefore, the surrender of the surviving armies of the Confederacy in 1865 (led by General Robert Lee, General Joseph Johnston, Lt. General Richard Taylor, Lt. General Kirby Smith, and Brig. General Stand Watie) counts as the surrender of the Confederacy.

Furthermore, the readmission of the southern states into the Union under the terms of Congress would naturally supersede the defunct Confederacy. Therefore, it is complete nonsense to claim that the states which seceded are still an independent sovereign nation, almost 150 years after the fact.

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26 Carl November 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM

After these fact’s! Please explain to me and others in this nation what you mean?

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27 OldenGoldenDecoy November 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Better try again legal beagle.

Your howling has absolutely no bite.

The Declaration of Independence?

That’s all well and good, but the Declaration is not a legal document at all, it is a document that is merely a revolutionary document written to express the sentiments of the Colonies at the time it was written and does not have the force of law, and no words in the Declaration can give rise to legal rights independently.

Now here is an oath that is supported by law and continues to be my oath for all those secessionists who wish to cause rebellion:

“I do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

Affirmed to on September 20, 1965.

Take heed and fair warning to those words…

~OGD~

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28 Zack November 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

1) Our culture is that of Immigrants swarming to our shores. They want to be us and you hate them for it? Really? This is a problem every administration has had why blame just this one?
2)Homeland Security was invented under the Bush Administration. Where was the outrage and the secessionist then?
Reasons 3,4,5, You don’t like i,t step up and fix it. What have secessionist done to fix their nation other than trying to run away?
6) Obviously but who puts irrational men into power?
7)?????? Afghanistan is coming to a close but idk what you’re talking about here
8)Yes this one is so the Administration’s fault. Not the legal system at all.
9) This country wasn’t founded on Judeo-Christianity. and the 10 commandments aren’t the law of this country. besides Idol worship is forbidden by the 10 commandments, so why would you care where they are or aren’t displayed?
10)??? Idk what you refer to there.
11) This point make little sense. The US military is a collection of all of its citizens. The state militias are even funded by the govt so the states don’t have to maintain them. other than that citizen armies are ridiculous and unnecessary.
12)This point just sounds moronic. Our nation is probably the most prideful of them all and our culture is more diverse than any other. Our heritage is a history of struggle and triumph. Our culture is the unity of all cultures and ideas. Every elementary school child knows this.
13) I agree to a point on this one. Congress has allowed special interest groups to influence their actions. If you don’t like it step up and run for the position yourself instead of just sitting around crying about it.
14) Have you ever stopped to consider that it’s not the federal government that has been too slow, but rather the design of the systems created? FEMA could work better if it had a more efficient design. The VA could work better under the same reasons. Common sense needs to be introduced to these systems.
15) Native Americans aren’t forced to remain or stay, they just choose to.
16) If this is a problem, which i doubt, is it the federal govt that is the cause or the State?
17) Another system that needs redesigning and new discussion.
18) Because this reason makes all the sense in the world.(sarcasm)
19) Name specifics, as far as i know it is other religions, primarily Christians, who want to limit peoples rights to all of these. They protest against basic rights of happiness and life.
20) Denying any mentally issued or criminally minded person access to have a weapon is common sense. Other than that restrictions have been lifted in the past 4 years.
21) Blame Congress on that one. And who elects the members of Congress? Oh wait, We the People do.
22)In many cases? Really? Name 100 cases. Send me the link. Out of all the cases in the US at one time 100 still seems like a few.
23) U.S. Public Workers v. Mitchell
24) Secession is nothing less than treason to the United States. Unity was our founding belief. Compromise and Debate is and always was our problem solving path. In 1860 people seceded under stupidity and ignorance of the system.
25)The federal government has the right to suspend habeas corpus via the Constitution Article 1 section 9 paragraph 2
26) Name 5 instances minus the civil war?
27) Our sovereignty has been, in any amount, given to the UN. If you don’t understand that, you are blind to the UN’s purpose. The UN doesn’t rule us or anyone. In fact, it has been the Spear-head of this nation’s own beliefs.
28) Nonsense and crap read out of context.
29) They did surrender via the Confederate States of America signing the surrender at Appomattox. Even if they hadn’t you wait 150 years to cry about it now?
30) The Southern states denied, oppressed, persecuted, and tortured blacks, Catholics and Jews for over 100 years all while the federal govt gave a grand pardon to all southerners who seceded.
31) You’re an idiot.

Overall, your argument is based on a past you didn’t live, a system you don’t like but wont strive to change, false FACTS, and a lack of Christian love. Secessionist would rather run away than stand up and fight for their fellow man. They would rather complain about a country ran on the idea all people are created equal and deserve the same rights as everyone else. They are a minority who didn’t get their way and should they, they would force their will on those who don’t want it. Thus being the same govt they claim to be against.

Yeah makes a lot sense.

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29 jaimehlers December 7, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I was preparing a line-by-line rebuttal of his comments, but I think I can sum my own response up with two bullet points.

1. Carl needs to acquaint himself with the various actual facts of the matter before commenting on them.

2. Carl needs to acquaint himself with the text of the Constitution with regards to things such as the right of Congress to declare war, the right of the President to issue pardons, etc.

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30 Jimmy Dick May 30, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Ever notice how the secessionists like to focus on three things to justify the legality of secession? The first is that it isn’t mentioned in the Constitution. The second is the 10th Amendment and the third is the Declaration of Independence. Citing all three shows a complete and utter lack of understanding the context of all three. I don’t think these folks understand much about the ratification debates in 1788 other than the fiction that Virginia put conditions in their ratification of the Constitution. They ignore primary documents in favor of their opinions.
They’re very originalist in their thinking when one understands that originalism is nothing more than using the past to support whatever political idea you have. I like Jack Rakove’s interpretation on originalism. His book, “Original Meanings,” also contains a little nugget of information on page 126-27. When the ratification convention in New York considered inserting a clause reserving the right to recede from the union of states, Madison replied that was not allowable.
In one stroke James Madison, the guy known as the Father of the Constitution, made clear two things. One, that secession was not going to be possible and two, that the Constitution could only be ratified as it was written, no amendments or conditions were allowed. Secessionists of today like to ignore the facts about the ratification process because that process eliminated their vision of secession.

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