52 votes

Ben Swann: Do States Actually Have The Right To Secede?

Ben Swann takes a look at the more than 30 petitions on the White House blog We The People asking that their state be allowed to peacefully secede from the United States.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Started Researching

This kind of topic I find very interesting.

I found this entry on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_union#Confederation):
By definition, the difference between a confederation and a federation is that the membership of the member states in a confederation is voluntary, while the membership in a federation is not. A confederation is most likely to feature these differences over a federation: (1) No real direct powers: many confederal decisions are externalised by member-state legislation. (2) Decisions on day-to-day-matters are not taken by simple majority but by special majorities or even by consensus or unanimity (veto for every member). (3) Changes of the constitution, usually a treaty, require unanimity.

It got me thinking about the states that make up the United States, what they actually are (countries themselves), what kind of powers are vested in these countries, the role of the federal government with these countries, and so many questions about the civil war (e.g. what exactly was the Federal Union, was it more than we are told in history class?)

Back to reading for me.

Ben Swann is taking the wrong angle on this

These petitions offer a mechanism to have a PROPER DEBATE about how the US should be run.

There wasn't one in the election.
BOTH parties are the same.

How about stopping the government WASTING $1tn+ every year for starters.

Stopping the counter productive drone warfare program and double tap drone strikes.

Stopping drones from being used in border patrol

Repeal NDAA indefinite detention, restore Posse Comitatus, repeal Patriot Act, stop Obama's EO's for martial law, comms control & confiscating American's bank accounts.

Ordinary Dems are mostly against these petitions - they think they "won" some kind of election.
The above are all very Dem friendly angles, to use to start a DEBATE.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Great Britain Gives what the Fed won't

If we don't have a right of withdrawal, then Great Britain is freer than we are.

"The Yankee is compelled to toil to make the world go around."
-Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN

States do have a right to call for a constitutional convention

That would be the proper way to handle these disagreements.

The very essence

The very essence of the USA is born of secession since the thirteen colonies seceded from England. So of course states may seceded. When someone joins the Boy Scouts, Rotary International or the Republican Party, they may "un-join" if they choose. How could we be called a "free country" if that were not the case? The same holds for states. If they wish to "un-join" the union, each is free to do so. I don't think fed.org is too likely to start another inter-state war like it did in the 1860s. There simply isn't enough money to fund it.



Current events are leading us

Current events are leading us to an eerily similar situation to that faced by our founders. The drum roll of petitions will lead to a crescendo within 8 years if the current trend isn't reversed. In the interim future, the issue of secession won't go away and the same argument used by SC to secede will be likely be used by one of the states today. Arm yourselves to the hilt and use the same technology developed by fascist governments to fight the fascist governments and their corporate cronies. Lucifer is miffed that God snubbed him (it) and gave dominion of the earth to humans. Lucifer has been attempting to subvert God's will every since via deception which is the whole basis for the UFO phenomenon, etc. Time is short. ;)

Also, an interesting comment

Also, an interesting comment I've encountered on zerohedge (topic was RP's opinion on the fiscal cliff on bloomberg). I quote:

"First of all, it's spelled SECESSION. As in to SECEDE.

Second, Texas will not lead the way because Texas has renounced all claim to right of secession per the Texas state constitution - Ordinance, Declaring the Ordinance of Secession Null and Void, March 15 1866.


"... and the right heretofore claimed by the State of Texas to secede from the Union, is hereby distinctly renounced."

Note that's a claimed right to secession that they're renouncing as opposed to an actual right, as the claim was never validated or recognized by ANYONE, not even the international community at that time.

I swear to Christ Almighty, that's all this country needs... more tea partiers, freepers, and tenthers that only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear - as opposed to the actual TRUTH of the situation. Ask the ghosts of the Whiskey Rebellion how things turned out when they were protesting taxes and formed an armed insurrection. George Washington himself rode at the head of 15,000 men to make sure that mad bullshit was put to rest right quick - that pretty much set the precedent and the Civil War sealed the deal... you join the Union you pay your fucking taxes, and you don't secede without a fight. I mean a real fight, blood and guts style, not this impotent raging armchair keyboard warrior bullshit. It's just hot air, no one cares. Grab your guns and put up or shut up."

Unfortunately you are incorrect

The one thing that makes Texas different is in the actual agreement Texas specifically said they could secede in the event the United States does not follow the Constitution.

thats well said. any

thats well said. any secession would be a very bloody one and nota fight most people are willing to take on. its not like bayonets and muskets are the most of our worries either. theyd be up against a powerhouse military with truly terrifying weapons. the only way this beast is going down is economically.

Absolutely right...

...states need to get their "house" in order before threatening such action. Are all of your state reps pro secession? How about your law enforcement and sheriff's office? Do your state gun laws allow for every citizen to protect state sovereignty? Everyone needs to know the U.S. Constitution and their own state's constitution inside and out before even whispering the word secession...

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -John Quincy Adams

A least two avenues prior to secession

1. The easiest way is to nullify all Federal laws that are unconstitutional, and throw federal agents in jail if they attempt to enforce unconstitutional laws. However, this will not solve all issues, and will be extremely tedious.

2. The Constitution allows for a Constitutional Convention. The states will get together and they can get together an pass amendments, clarifying the intent of the Constitution. They could even throw Obama out of office if they see fit. Heck, they can rewrite an entirely new Constitution. Ratification of these amendments or new Constitution will still require 75% of the states.

However, let's say that not enough states want a convention. Or that the new Constitution does not conform to the needs of the Texan people. Then the people of Texas have the right to secede. It doesn't matter what any document says, or any promise made by your great-great-grandparents.

It was illegal for the U.S. to secede from England, yet they did it anyway. It was illegal for Texas to secede from Mexico, yet they did it anyway. People have the right to change their government as they see fit in order to meet their needs. Period. The Hague recently confirmed this... that people get to choose their own government.

Now, the question remains whether the U.S. would be the tyrant (again), forcing people back into the union at the point of a gun.

You are generally correct, but..

while ratification of 75% of the states is required for amendments, a new constitution will require the ratification of all the states that agree to live under it. When the U.S. Constitution went through the ratification process, the document required only nine states agree to it before it replaced the Articles of Confederation. Eleven did, and the Articles were replaced. Rhode Island and North Carolina remained independent republics for about a year from the time the Articles of Confederation ended before they finally joined the Union.
So, depending on what the new Constitution says as the conditions for its activation, no state need join once it goes into effect if it has not yet ratified it.
Back in the 1980's there was a push for a balanced budget amendment to force Congress to live within its means. Congress would never pass it, so states started calling for a Constitutional Convention. Of those states which have passed resolutions calling for a Con-con, a couple have backed out, though it is questionable whether they can do that.
If they cannot, as states can't change their minds, on, say, the income tax, by rescinding their vote to ratify, then there are only two more states needed to pass resolutions to call for the holding of a Con-con to amend the constitution.
There are people who scare monger on what might come out of a con-con, but any amendment proposed has to be ratified by the states just as any amendment, like the stagnant Equal Rights Amendment pushed in the 1970's, passed by Congress, has to be.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

Seems like he is giving...

...information that, yes, we have the right but not without a fight. Am I hearing it right?


States have the right to secede. The federal government can use force to prevent that right from being exercised. Force, however, does not answer questions of right, only of power.
The petitions asking the federal government to recognize the right to peaceful withdrawal from the United States needs to be made to prevent the fight. If the federal government either remains silent on the issue or claims the right and duty to use force to prevent secession, then I believe a Constitutional Convention should be called to offer an amendment to the Constitution explicitly declaring the right of the states to withdraw. Preserving the Union should never have been the highest priority. Government is meant to serve, not rule.
One has to remember that the tariff was the major reason the North went to war over secession. If it were not for the fact that the South was the captive market for Northern manufactures because of the tariff, they would have told the South to take their slaves and not let the door hit them in the butt as they left. The South lost control of the Senate and a president who was an advocate of a high protective tariff was just elected. A high tariff would not fly if the South could leave. The South could not stay with a high protective tariff and survive. The South could no longer block the Republican program that it would have to pay for. Secession was the only long-term solution.
The government no longer depends on the tariff for revenue. There is no reason Washington would need to go to war again over secession.
I expect there will be another financial crisis, a dollar collapse, and federal default on the debt before any of this actually goes into gear. When SS and Medicare fall apart, the people will see a lot less to lose by seceding.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

yes of course

it is called free-will.

Something to consider: over 600,000 people died in the civil war.

I think

you do!