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Does a State have the right to secede?
08-22-2013, 09:53 AM
Post: #39
RE: Does a State have the right to secede?
Roger, with the question of precedent. Doesn't Maine in 1820 set one? Not one of the original thirteen states because it was part of Massachusetts, Maine was not even contiguous with Massachusetts, with New Hampshire in-between. In 1819 Massachusetts allowed Maine to secede if Maine voters chose to do. Regardless of the Missouri Compromise. Maine, a non original 13 State was allowed Secession. Kentucky left the mother state of Virginia very early on, and was admitted in 1792, 5 After the Constitution was written.

It seems the argument should be more about whether the Government grants permission to secede. Not that it is illegal. And if secession is not granted and is continued anyway it is viewed as insurrection.

Since there is a mention as to Jackson's view on the subject of secession, which I no only of what you provided. I thought it would be interesting to see Buchanon's. Since after all he allowed much of this to start.
Buchanan's view of record was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal. Buchanan, an attorney, was noted for his mantra, "I acknowledge no master but the law." He placed the blame for the crisis solely on "intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern States", and suggested that if they did not "repeal their unconstitutional and obnoxious enactments ... the injured States, after having first used all peaceful and constitutional means to obtain redress, would be justified in revolutionary resistance to the Government of the Union." Buchanan's only suggestion to solve the crisis was "an explanatory amendment" reaffirming the constitutionality of slavery in the states, the fugitive slave laws, and popular sovereignty in the territories.

What do the resident lawyers on this forum say?

Conflict between the Fourteenth and the Ninth and TenthAmendments:
There are certain vital things which, in natural fact and in the nature of man, are inalienable, i.e., they cannot in fact be alienated, even voluntarily. Specifically, a person cannot alienate his will, more particularly his control over his own mind and body. Each man has control over his own mind and body. Each man has control over his own will and person, and he is, if you wish, ‘stuck’ with that inherent and inalienable ownership. Since his will and control over his own person are inalienable, then so also are his rights to control that person and will. That is the ground for the famous position of the Declaration of Independence that man's natural rights are inalienable; that is, they cannot be surrendered, even if the person wishes to do so.

If the right of secession, protected as it is by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, is inalienable, then that right survives any attempt to relinquish it through the Fourteenth Amendment. The right to "alter or abolish" forms of government does appear to be such a fundamental right that it should be treated as inalienable. It is integral to the protection of other rights which Jefferson termed inalienable such as the rights to life and liberty. Thus, it is a right that should survive regardless of its alleged implicit relinquishment under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Why isn't there a clear Amendment oulawing secession?

Here is a letter I saw from Antonin Scalia:


" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - brtmchl - 08-22-2013 09:53 AM
RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - Hess1865 - 08-24-2013, 09:04 PM

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