White (186), the Supreme Court declared unilateral secession unconstitutional, while commenting that revolution or the consent of states could lead to successful secession. This is one of the questions of the day, and it seems that it is no longer a mere abstract or theoretical question. The Constitution does not provide for secession. A government is not a company whose existence is limited to a fixed period of time, nor does it provide a means for its own dissolution.
The Constitution of the United States provides that it can be amended and prescribes how to do so, but it does not contemplate, as it now exists, its own destruction, nor the dissolution of the government of which it is living proof. Constitutionally, there can be no such thing as the secession of a State from the Union. The adage that the victors of war write history is all too true. From the pages of school history books to the dramatic and award-winning account of the Civil War in the documentary by Ken Burns, the Confederate states are always portrayed as the spoilers and traitors who were justly punished and humiliated for their evil acts.
However, nothing could be further from the truth, since the southern states had every legal right to separate and determine their own destiny. As heretical as it may seem, Abraham Lincoln was wrong (emphasis on “dead”) in declaring war against his compatriots and citizens. It was his decision to use military force that resolved what should have been a constitutional issue that needed to be considered at that time. There is no provision in the U.S.
UU. Constitution that prohibits a state from separating from the union. This is made clear in a proposal made in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to grant the new federal government specific power to suppress a secessionist state. James Madison, widely recognized as the Constitution's key founding father and scholar, rejected this proposal stating: “A Union of states containing such an ingredient seemed to provide its own destruction.
The use of force against a State would be more like a declaration of war than an imposition of punishment and would probably be considered by the attacked party as the dissolution of all previous covenants by which it might be bound. The guarantee of State sovereignty is enshrined in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves to states all rights that have not been specifically delegated to the federal government. Since the federal government was never delegated the right to force states to submit violently, secession is properly a legal right that can be exercised at any time. Thomas Jefferson, of course, made clear his distrust of an all-powerful federal government and his palpable fear that the will of the people could easily be hijacked.
As stated in the Federalist Documents, “When you assume powers that have not been delegated, annulment of the act is the legitimate remedy. The North resolved the issue, Professor Loewy and I are now debating with brutal force. That said, the final question of whether the federal government can militarily force a state to remain in the Union is very much alive, as most states have offered petitions to get out of the vehicle. If Texas or any state decides to separate next time, I will gladly offer my legal services to write the report in support of it.
Of course, the most likely response would be the deployment of federal troops and the suppression of dissent. It's not difficult to lock a law office. Let's think about what our nation would have been like if Lincoln had followed the advice of a primitive Charles Moster. Slavery would have continued for decades, possibly into the 20th century.
I don't think it would have continued forever, because in the end there would have been enough slave uprising to put an end to the concept of slavery. At least I hope so. Let's face it, the southern states had no intention of letting all their citizens determine “their own destiny.”. Rather, they wanted white landowners to determine their destiny and avoid any union interference with their desire to keep African Americans in slavery.
Show that just four weeks ago, on these very pages, he condemned Dred Scott's decision to allow slavery to continue in the United States. If slavery was to end once and for all, bloodshed was necessary. But instead of condemning those who fought to end slavery,. Moster could consider blaming the bloodshed on those who caused it by trying to break away from the union to preserve slavery, rather than blaming those who fought to avoid such a catastrophe.
If President Lincoln hadn't acted the way he did, I suspect slavery would have continued for decades. I don't think it would have continued to this day because I think that eventually a slave rebellion, perhaps with the help of the liberators of the neighboring United States, would have put an end to the sole reason for the existence of the Confederation. But let's suppose that in the future some state has a better reason than the Confederation for secession. Moster mentions that nothing in the Constitution prohibits secession.
He's right, but he ignores the fact that there's nothing to allow it either. The closest he can get is the Tenth Amendment, which gives all powers to states that are not banned or delegated to the federal government, and even though Mr. Moster's erroneous statement doesn't say “specifically. Of course, if a state has the audacity to separate itself from the Union, anything in the Constitution would be irrelevant to it, insofar as the Constitution assumes that they are states that are part of the union.
Once a state tries to separate, of course, it becomes a foreign nation and is therefore subject to all the power that the federal government has over foreign nations. This would include the power to declare war on the secessionist state and, therefore, force it to rejoin the union. Professor Loewy admits that there is no language prohibiting the secession of states in the Constitution, and recognizes the language of the reservation of rights in the Tenth Amendment. To their dismay, states had every right to leave the Union in 1860, and the federal government had no basis to oppose this decision with lethal force.
Professor Loewy's reply to this argument is circular and fallacious: once a state tries to separate, of course, it becomes a foreign nation and, therefore, is subject to the power that the federal government has over foreign nations. This is a truly frightening and autocratic proposition, as Professor Loewy acknowledges, that states would have the right to separate under democratic principles, and yet they would be forced to return through the application of brute force. Rarely can we find a statement that so blatantly demonstrates the hypocrisy of liberals who pretend to adhere to democratic values and yet would abandon them in the blink of an eye to achieve the desired end. It would be absurd to give a state the power to dissolve its union membership and then give credit to the union's basic statutes for giving it the power to act in that way.
Moster in previous debates has expressed his disdain for our Constitution, preferring to replace it with something like the failed Articles of the Confederation or the European Union. Moster, who is dedicated to unconstitutional rhetoric, and yes, even “ends”, justifies media jurisprudence. He wants to legitimize secession so much that he doesn't care that it's contrary to the whole point of the Constitution. Moster tells us that before Lincoln, political efforts were being made to eradicate slavery.
One has to wonder what good they would have done. As it stands, the Confederation tried to leave the Union because they feared losing their precious right to subject other human beings to human captivity. If more laws had been enacted, it is even more certain that there would have been secession. Moster, as you say, the ends don't justify the means, and a constitutional provision designed to govern member states cannot be read as a leave sheet to leave the same union that granted them their rights as union members in the first place.
And this is true, no matter how much you want the states to separate and form their own free confederation. For the legislators of this proud state and the eleven states that followed it and then formed the Confederation, their legal right to leave the Union was not a matter of esoteric debate but a reality. . .