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Does a State have the right to secede?
08-21-2013, 06:36 PM
Post: #29
RE: Does a State have the right to secede?
According to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution,federal law supersedes state law. There is no federal law which defines how the country would be dismantled. That cannot mean that since the federal law does not indicate how the government can be destroyed, the 10th amendment somehow leaves it up to the states to determine. That would be yet another form of anarchy. Lincoln made this point in 1861 when he said "Unquestionably the States have the power and rights reserved to them in and by the National Constitution; but among these, surely, are not included all conceivable powers, however mischievous or destructive; but, at most, such only as were known in the world, at the time, as governmental powers; and certainly a power to destroy the Government itself had never been known as a governmental—as a merely administrative power."

He added

"This sophism derives much, perhaps the whole, of its currency from the assumption that there is some omnipotent and sacred supremacy pertaining to a State—to each State of our Federal Union. Our States have neither more nor less power than that reserved to them in the Union by the Constitution—no one of them ever having been a State out of the Union. The original ones passed into the Union even before they cast off their British colonial dependence; and the new ones each came into the Union directly from a condition of dependence, excepting Texas. And even Texas, in its temporary independence, was never designated a State. The new ones only took the designation of States on coming into the Union, while that name was first adopted for the old ones in and by the Declaration of Independence."

I have a feeling that much of this discussion to many (and I'm not making an assumption about anyone here, but rather I'm speaking in broad terms) has more to do with current political realities then it does with any historical inquiry.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - Rob Wick - 08-21-2013 06:36 PM
RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - Hess1865 - 08-24-2013, 08:04 PM

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