Topic Tuesday #17 2012/11/13 - "Slicing the American Pie"
|States With Petitions to Secede.|
After the 2012 presidential general election there came a great stir in the states that leaned in favor of the challenger from the GOP, Mitt Romney (some that ended up going to Obama as well!). This stirring is nothing new, but worth talking about. There are at the time of this writing 20 states, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas - that are seeking peaceful secession from the United States. Most read like this one from Tennessee: "Peacefully grant the State of Tennessee to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." Not everybody who wants to secede is polite enough to write a petition. Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County (Texas) Republican Party, wrote a post-election newsletter in which he urges the Lone Star State to leave the Union, with some rather unpleasant and pointed imagery.
"We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity... Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years."
The whole affair of secession from the USA is largely a symbolic gesture as the 14th Amendment signifies citizenship of being of the USA not of the individual states. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has even addressed the constitutionality of secession and how a state would go about it in a letter to a screenwriter who posed the question: "To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, "one Nation, indivisible.") Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit." Texas does have the ability to subdivide itself into 5 states. This would give it more Senators on the whole, but as you divide a state up, there is no guarantee of loyalty to the original cause.
As with any of these type of movements, Texas in particular, the logistics is what hamstrings the entire endeavor more than even the legal ramifications. There are a great number of nationalized services that would all have to be... "repatriated" into a state government. The cost of the operation would be phenomenal. Texas would have it better off. They have their own power grid. They have enough manufacturing and population to make sustainability an option. Of the other 19 states however... Well, it wouldn't be hard to see that any sedition among them would harm the citizens far more than help them. So in the end, secession just isn't going to happen. If it does... It will be a civil war and there will be millions of lives lost. /Begin SOAPBOX/ Pretty simple. Stay and fix the things you are trying to run away from. Do it legally. It was the law that got you into "this mess" in the first place! Make good choices, and advertise those choices to everyone else. /End SOAPBOX/
What do you think? Should the states be allowed to bow out? Do they even have the right to do so? How do you think it could be done? How many infrastructures would be interrupted? Would I need a passport to get to Louisiana?