Scalia: "There Is No Right to Secede"


The right of a state to secede from the nation is way outside my personal injury wheelhouse. But it has become a source of conversation on professorial and political blogs, and the concept has generated interest from the Tea Party movement.

As it happens, my brother has a letter from Justice Antonin Scalia that is directly on point as to the legitimacy of secession. How he got that letter, and its contents, are the subject of today’s post.

The inspiration for writing, and the release of the letter, comes from Prof. Eugene Volokh, who wrote, “I keep hearing the claim that the legitimacy of secession from the U.S. was ‘settled at Appomattox,’ and I wanted to say a few words about why I think that makes little sense.”

The good prof goes on to write that, while clearly not supporting secession of any State in concept, that the issue is far from settled. He writes:

If in 2065 Alaska, California, Hawaii, or Texas (just to consider some examples) assert a right to secede, the argument that “in 1865, the victorious Union government concluded that no state has a right to secede in opposition to the wishes of the Union, so therefore you lack such a right” will have precisely the weight that the Americans of 2065 will choose to give it — which should be very little. 

Thus far, that post has generated 152 comments.

Well prof, Justice Scalia disagrees with you. Explicitly. Why did he do so in a letter to my brother? Glad you asked.

Dan is a screenwriter (whose screenplay Tranquility Base was just named a finalist at the Vail Film Festival, and previously took top honors elsewhere). Back in 2006 he started working on a political farce that had Maine seceding from the United States and joining Canada.

Bro was well ahead of the tea partiers in contemplating impending problems as we racked up massive debt. This doesn’t get him an agent or a foot in the door of Hollywood to get his screenplays made into films — it isn’t what you write, but who you know — but it does make him a prophet of sorts.

So, on a lark, he wrote to each of the 10 Supreme Court justices (including O’Connor) with this request:

I’m a screenwriter in New York City, and am writing to see if you might be willing to assist me in a project that involves a unique constitutional issue. 

My latest screenplay is a comedy about Maine seceding from the United States and joining Canada. There are parts of the story that deal with the legality of such an event and, of course, a big showdown in the Supreme Court is part of the story.

At the moment my story is a 12 page treatment. As an architect turned screenwriter, it is fair to say that I come up a bit short in the art of Supreme Court advocacy. If you could spare a few moments on a serious subject that is treated in a comedic way, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. I’m sure you’ll find the story very entertaining.

I told Dan he was nuts. I told him his letter would be placed in the circular file. And then Scalia wrote back. Personally. Explicitly rejecting the right to secede:

I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. 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. 

I am sure that poetic license can overcome all that — but you do not need legal advice for that. Good luck with your screenplay.

So there you have it. At least one vote solidly on record as saying that there is no right to secede. And it likely comes from a place the right wing secessionists most wanted to have a vote.

And yes, Dan still needs an agent. Because writing great scripts isn’t enough if you don’t know The Powers That Be on the other coast. And, for what it’s worth, his now-completed script of Maine joining Canada is better than his award-winning one about a mis-adventure in space.

(Update:Welcome new readers…there seems to be a fair share of incoming to this little joint)

Update #2 -

Update #3: In November 2013, in the wake of the Obama-Romey election, this posting returned to the news.

Elsewhere on the issue of secession:

  • Secession in the Air (Patrick Buchanan)

    No, it is not 1860 again. 

    But with all the talk of the 10th Amendment, nullification and interposition, states rights and secession — following Gov. Rick Perry’s misstatement that Texas, on entering the Union in 1845, reserved in its constitution a right to secede — one might think so.

Nearly one-third of Georgia Republicans would be in favor of leaving the United States, its polling shows. Pause here for any ironic thoughts about the party of Abraham Lincoln that suddenly spring to mind.

  • Glenn Beck: Secession or Suicide (Jason Linkins @ Huffington Post)

    But you can’t convince me that the founding fathers wouldn’t allow you to secede. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. And if a state says, I don’t want to go there, because that’s suicide, they have a right to back out. They have a right. 

  • Texas v. White a Roadblock To Secession; But It Might Also Provide an Escape Route (Brian Stanley @ Lew Rockwell)

    In the 1868 case of Texas v. White, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 700, a case dealing with the title to some U.S. bonds, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas’, and hence the South’s, attempted secession in 1861 was unconstitutional. But the opinion also contained some wording that might give secessionists a way around White. 

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82 Responses Leave a comment

  • Anonymous 2010.3.23 at 20:02 | Quote

    Excellent post Mr. Turkewitz.

    It is a which comes first, "the state that leaves" or "the suit" question.

    I think they would be right to apportion the debt, but the fact is, the debt is so obscene, there is no way to apportion it. And if the states argued that Wahshington has spent beyond a realistically "payable" amount, and seems bound to keep going – there is nothing Washington could do if the state(s) shrugged their collective shoulders and said "so sue me." (grin)

    What's that saying, if you owe me money, it's your problem. If you owe me a LARGE amount of money, it's my problem.

    And if 38 states are already shoving back at Washington with their own legislation, and 13 states are already suing, there's a big problem going on.

    As James Balwin said "The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”

    If Washington creates that in our society with the bottomless spending – there is nothing to lose by the states seceding. Especially if enough of them decide that is a viable option. There would be more "prosperous" people in their state – and a chance to become solvent again, sans Washington and its mandates and edicts.

    The states just simply walk away from Washington and leave Washington to crumble and fall. Of course, Washington would make sure the banks failed, but then again, we've already been through that, haven't we? It doesn't hold any fear for anyone like it used to.

    And as angry as some of the people out there are, some would be glad to watch some of them fail.

    It wouldn't be good for anyone in the nation. However, when you come to a point, as our nation may be, that we are technologically advanced – and it could be accomplished on paper, it may not be as "academic" a discussion as some would like to think.

    And who knows, your brother's script may end up an example of "life imitating art." Or even more than that, prophetic.

    States could secede, and not a single shot fired. We have ballots now instead of bullets.

    People can "vote with their feet" and could move to the states that are no longer under the aegis of the federal government. Of course, during the divorce, a negotiated "contract" would have to be made for defense spending.

    Something tells me, you're going to be having more of this conversation in the coming months, just because there are so many angry and they will need to vent.

    Good luck to your brother, and thank you for the facinating posts you and others have provided.

  • Allen Charles Report 2010.3.23 at 23:56 | Quote

    The suits filed today seem very shallow and very weak to me because the very idea that they are using as an excuse the requirement everyone must buy health insurance and that requirement is not lawful yet the same Attorneys General were silent on the Medicare part D purchase requirement or a larger sum would be applied to those that did not buy into the drug plan. In my state Florida certain people on Medicare were actually assigned a company by the state without any input on their part when they had failed to do it for themselves. The Republicans in Congress and a Republican President passed and signed the Part D plan and wrote the bill so what is so different now.

  • Anonymous 2010.3.24 at 10:14 | Quote

    Alan Charles Report:

    There’s a problem Washington has. There are 2 supreme court decisions that contradict what the Government is doing.

    Bailey V Drexel – 1922

    “So here the so-called tax is a penalty to coerce people of a state to act as Congress wishes them to act in respect of a matter completely the business of the state government under the federal Constitution…. “

    Congress cannot tax as a penalty. Calling it a “tax” does not disguise it for what it is, a penalty, in an attempt to get people to act the way Congress wants them to act.

    The other is:

    Hammer V. Dagenheart – 1918

    “Held, unconstitutional as exceeding the commerce power of Congress and invading the powers reserved to the States.”

    “There is no power vested in Congress to require the States to exercise their police power so as to prevent possible unfair competition. Many causes may cooperate to give one State, by reason of local laws or conditions, an economic advantage over others. The Commerce Clause was not intended to give to Congress a general authority to equalize such conditions.”

    Washington doesn’t have the power to demand people to purchase insurance – to prevent one state from having an advantage over the other in costs. States regulate that, Washington has no authority over that.

    Next – the one that angers most people, Washington cannot FORCE an individual into “commerce” via their authority to REGULATE commerce. (Commerce Clause)

    That’s unheard of. It’s never been done. The feds are bootstrapping their authority to “regulate” commerce into a brand new power to “force” you into commerce, force you to do something.

    The fact that 38 states are drafting legislation opposing it, and 13 states are suing the federal government says the suits aren’t “weak” nor are they without merit.

    Washington shouldn’t be so blasé about thinking they have these powers under the Commerce clause. The Supreme Court has ruled otherwise before in 1918 and 1922. They look like they’re directly on point, too. And given the age of the decisions, it appears these are “black letter” law now also.

    Maybe Mr. Turkewitz will help us out on that one.

    Look, the nation is angry – they’ve watched Washington give our money away, take over car companies, banks, they’re taking over college loans now, and moving toward insurance companies and your Health Care. Next will be power companies and your electric bills. (Can ‘N Trade).

    What are they doing?

    1 in 7 Americans is struggling to buy food. Yes, in America. We’ve been screaming “jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” and all Washington can say is “health care. Health care. Health care.”

    The nation has been angry for over a year, and Washington hasn’t been listening. Without a job, nothing else matters. It’s been the priority from day 1. Not a single poll in America says or has ever said HC reform was the top priority. 70% of the nation doesn’t believe Washington is listening to them anymore.

    And that’s a problem. A BIG one. That’s a “mandate.”

    As I said, I believe Mr. Turkewitz’ brother may be more prophetic than he realizes. And not just in a “spoof.”

    I’m willing to bet this “hypothetical” discussion starts to become more prevalent as Washington continues to anger “mainstream” Americans by ignoring what the real priorities in the nation are.

    Jobs for us. Not those in Washington.

  • Karl 2010.4.25 at 21:59 | Quote

    I am afraid too many people concern themselves with pointless issues.

    If let us use The Republic of Texas as an example. If the Republic of Texas were to declare they have seceded from the union. They would be very stupid to appeal this the an invalid authority such as the Supreme court of the United States.

    At the moment of Secession the Republic of Texas become an independent nation and equal to the US not subordinate. So the Appeal would be made to a higher Governing body such as the UN.

    In fact Texas may request assistance from member nations to protect the borders and prevent bloodshed inflicted by a much more powerful nation.

    If this were the case I can think of roughly 20 member nations that just might preemptively offer support just as the US did in cases like the republic of Georgia, Poland and a few other times.

    There might even be tacit support much like the mujahadin and Osama Bin Laden received from the US during the Afgan/Russian conflict back in the 1980′s

    It seems to me that no one has wrapped their head around the fact that a State that secedes no longer accepts the Authority of the US government or the courts is holds. It would be much like a wife leaving an abusive alcoholic husband and requesting her former in-laws be the judge and jury in the divorce proceeding.

  • Gerald Pruitt 2010.4.30 at 16:37 | Quote

    Talk about what the Party of Lincoln should think about secession is folly. The Party of Lincoln no longer exists; it was absorbed in the Party of Wallace after 1968.

  • LibertyDefenseLeague 2010.5.8 at 13:22 | Quote

    It is a good thing that the sovereign power (e.g. the right to secede) within a body-politic (i.e. State) does not rest upon the opinion of a biased judge in the Federal government, nor does the natural rights of man rest upon a body of judges within an entity created by the sovereign will of the states.

    This judge openly acknowledges, given his line of reasoning, that the natural rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and the powers retained in the 10th amendment, have been conquered (an act of war) by the United States Government and that the any and all natural or constitutional rights of Confederate States of America were subject to the conquestor. In essence, those conquered states became the slaves of the U.S. government.

    However, this cannot be the case, because the U.S. government treats ALL the states as those remaining loyal to the US government equally under the terms of the ORIGINAL constitution (pre-1865). Thus, there is no way that the war could have stripped the States of the rights those possessed as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and reserved in the 10th amendment.

    Treating the “conquered” states as such, they essentially restored to them all of their natural and constitutional rights pre-1865. If this is not true, then why was not the right to secede taken away by a constitutional amendment?

    If the war “settled the issue,” then where comes the notion that the US Constitution is the “Supreme Law of the Land”? If the US Constitution did not settle the issue but the war did, then the literal RIGHT of the states to secede had nothing to do with the war, but rather, the matter of the war was to prevent the states from seceding, regardless of right.

    If this is not true, then why could not 3/4 of the states (at that time) pass a constitutional amendment reflecting that the US Constitution waived the right to secede? Why was there not a US S CT case brought on this most crucial of a matter, which cost the millions of dollars and thousands of lives?

    More than ever before, we see the revealing truth that a state’s right to secede is not only natural to the powers of that body-politic, but also necessary for its survival, security, happiness and prosperity.

  • Brian McCandliss 2010.5.17 at 11:03 | Quote

    To question the constitutionality of secession, presumes that the constitution formed the states– which is clearly the reverse of the actual truth. For this reason, the Constitution could only have formed the states into a single nation, if it clearly and expressly says this to be the intention of the states; for each state was free, sovereign and independent prior to the Constitution, i.e. each was a nation unto itself. Others have claimed the opposite, but they were clearly waffling: i.e. the union among the states was nothing but a military alliance– never a conjoining act to form a single nation.

    As for the “Civil War:” the above facts clearly reveal that to be an act of international imperialism, no different from Saddam Hussein’s conquest and annexation of Kuwait; and few Americans would consent to abide under such a regime of empire, in which legitimate state sovereignty was suppressed by force rather than conjoined voluntarily among the people. Indeed, this would make the federal government into the ruling sovereign, while the people would have choice only choice of some staff-members at prescribed intervals– similar to a slave choosing its master, i.e. neither is truly “free.”
    As such, we see that discussion of this matter has been suppressed since the time of that war in question; and Scalia is simply a puppet of the regime, speaking in behalf of his own interest as denying this very fact. However in this vein, “methinks the man doth protest too much;” for his claim dotes on the “Civil War,” while his statement of lawgivers’ original intent is conspicuous by its absent. One must assume, therefore, that Mr. Scalia has no factual rebuke of this matter– and that therefore he concurs that every state was sovereign by law… and that secession is suppressed solely by threat of unlawful force and intimidation, since no laws were CHANGED via the war.
    That the United States is an empire, is irrefutable; for its behavior and world-involvement is identical to every empire in history, expending vast resources to maintain power-bases in distant lands which bring no benefit other than simply influence over them, but at a cost far greater than any security it could possibly bring. This is what ultimately destroys every empire: i.e. bankruptcy– not only from such over-extension abroad in lands hostile to it, but also domestically, via factionalism among the citizenry over the division of communal revenue between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”
    The Founding Fathers wisely averted this quagmire via maintaining sovereignty within each state via its respective People; however this greed-based factionalism quickly suppressed that sovereignty as early as the Jackson Administration, which denied the very same power of Nullification that Madison and Jefferson, speakign for their states, declared to be absolutely indispensible to uphold the Constitution against a federal majority.

    Naturally, Scalia– being chief justice of the US Supreme Court– will deny this, since he wishes to deny that he could ever affirm an unconstitutional law; however this is the sentiment of a dictator claiming benevolence, since a national constitution makes the Supreme Court into the last word on the Constitution, making the US Supreme Court into an all-powerful body on any law that could possibly come before it. (Even Linoln claimed this upon taking office- and in doing so, he likewise overthrew the Court entirely for the duration of his reign, claiming that the Court had no power of judicial review; and in this way he was able to suspend habeas corpus on his own sole authority.)
    In short, the federal government is an illegitimate empire, and has successfully suppressed all discussion on the matter for 140 years.
    I say it ends now: Mr. Turkewitz, I think your brother should write a movie about the legitimacy of the “national government;” movie-producers are interested in only one thing: MONEY, and such a film would definitely rake in a lot of it. Perhaps not as much as films like “Iron Man,” but Americans have not grown lazy and complacent, so much as hopeless into docility and escape from their long-bereft lack of individual significance, since they have been born and bred to serve the state, rather than vice-versa as they are told.

  • Eric Turkewitz 2010.5.17 at 11:08 | Quote

    I say it ends now: Mr. Turkewitz, I think your brother should write a movie about the legitimacy of the “national government;” movie-producers are interested in only one thing: MONEY, and such a film would definitely rake in a lot of it.

    He has a finished screenplay (actually 5 finished screenplays) and is looking for an agent. Tough business, that Hollywood.

  • Brian McCandliss 2010.5.17 at 12:01 | Quote

    States could secede, and not a single shot fired. We have ballots now instead of bullets.

    They had that in 1860, too; the bullets were simply in response to the federal invasion. Secession was suppressed via censorship, jailing and torturing reporters and closing hundreds of presses which didn’t support the war. This allowed the federal government to simpy trump up laws against secession– and even today, Scalia basically says that trumped-up laws are valid, simply because the federal government had the power to enforce them!

    This proves that Scalia is a bad man, period.

    However today we have the internet and videophones, twitter etc., so this could make the difference, i.e. if a state seceded, and the federal government quoted more trumped-up law against it, then people could expose the TRUTH without being silenced. If the federal government tried to intimidate people into silence TODAY, then it would backfire: i.e. there would be a storm of protest via internet, television, radio and every other electronic media that would surround the world and drive the federal government out of power.

    The ONLY way that Lincoln won the war, is by silencing opposition, and intimidating everyone into thinking they were alone in their beliefs, but with the rise of the internet, that ship has long sailed. So it will only require one state to nullify a federal law, in order to set off a re-match between the states and the federal government– and the states can’t lose this time.

  • Brian McCandliss 2010.5.17 at 12:06 | Quote

    >>

    Eric Turkewitz:I say it ends now: Mr. Turkewitz, I think your brother should write a movie about the legitimacy of the “national government;” movie-producers are interested in only one thing: MONEY, and such a film would definitely rake in a lot of it.
    He has a finished screenplay (actually 5 finished screenplays) and is looking for an agent. Tough business, that Hollywood.

    He needs to calculate the box-office returns; big-controversy films can do that, just look at JFK.

    The problem here, is that he is going up against Lincoln, who is a government-created idol– i.e. a false god that everyone believes in; and so producers will smell failure.

    Basically we say that states have the legal right to secede, then we’re also saying that Lincoln was wrong– and therefore both parties will pull together and attack us in knee-jerk fashion, saying we’re pro-slavery and racist etc, since slavery is their trump-card in suppressing the issue.

    For this reason, secession-issues are a catch-22 in the American mainstream, i.e. no one WANTS to know the truth; they’re too brainwashed into thinking that “secession = slavery.”

  • Brian McCandliss 2010.5.17 at 12:25 | Quote

    Karl:I am afraid too many people concern themselves with pointless issues.
    If let us use The Republic of Texas as an example. If the Republic of Texas were to declare they have seceded from the union. They would be very stupid to appeal this the an invalid authority such as the Supreme court of the United States.
    At the moment of Secession the Republic of Texas become an independent nation and equal to the US not subordinate. So the Appeal would be made to a higher Governing body such as the UN.

    Actually secession as a matter of right, would indicate that Texas was already an independent nation, and that authority was only delegated to the United States as an agent– and that Texas was simply resuming its governing authority over itself, i.e. telling Washington that its services were no longer required.

    However a sovereign nation, by definition, does not “appeal” to anyone, but simply declares its rights before all other sovereign nations; and so they naturally must join in this recognition, as a condition of maintaining their ownsovereignty.

    It seems to me that no one has wrapped their head around the fact that a State that secedes no longer accepts the Authority of the US government or the courts is holds.

    Again, a sovereign state never accepts the authority of the US, but only delegates authority to it as a subordinate agent. So this is simply like a business-owner firing a manager or a security-guard; i.e. they only have whatever authority that the owner delegates to them in the first place, and now the owner is simply ending that delegation. All authority always exists in the owner.

    This judge openly acknowledges, given his line of reasoning, that the natural rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and the powers retained in the 10th amendment, have been conquered (an act of war) by the United States Government and that the any and all natural or constitutional rights of Confederate States of America were subject to the conquestor.

    Actually he’s denying this, instead he’s claiming that the federal government is the proper authority for whether laws are constitutional or not– but he’s also obviously denying that the federal government ever abuses this authority.
    Of course it’s a complete crock: the federal government not only abused its authority from Day 1, but also encouraged the states to do the same by rubber-stamping unconstitutional state-laws and other actions.

    Simply put, Scalia is the head fox, arguing why foxes should guard the henhouse… of course the powerful are going to deny that power corrupts.
    But only a fool would believe him… sadly, that’s the majority.

  • Brian McCandliss 2010.5.17 at 12:36 | Quote

    I was most disturbed of all by this statement by Scalia:

    “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.”

    So Scalia believes that federal armed force can resolve constitutional issues, rather than the proving the original intentions of the lawgivers themselves.

    This really gives him away as pro-fascist dictator– and I think it’s the line which your brother should open his movie with:

    “”If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.”

    Mr. Turkewitz, I’ve been working on getting a book published regarding secession-law, and I have the primary authority writing it, who is a state-history professor. Please send me an e-mail and I’ll give you the details; it might be better to collaborate on a screenplay.
    I’ve also been in contact with other famous authorities you’ve probably heard of. Like you said, producers want big names; this might do it.

  • Gary Adams 2010.5.18 at 05:31 | Quote

    I am not a lawyer but wasn’t Scalia incorrect when he said ” I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court”. Didn’t it do just that and the question of secession resolved by Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700?

  • Jonathan 2010.7.22 at 19:27 | Quote

    @JCtx
    If a State does not have the right to leave the Union then no one has any rights because we would be little more than slaves to the federal government. Why should any State be held hostage and go down the economic drain with the others against its will? After all, government only has authority by consent of the governed and if the governed of a given State withdraws it’s consent then the federal government has no authority over those people. I’d prefer States be able to leave peacefully if the majority of their people want to but if the majority want to leave the union and the only way to do it is to defend themselves from the federal tyranny by force then so be it. Never start a fight but always be prepared to finish it.

  • Hans Quackenbusch 2010.9.16 at 12:31 | Quote

    @Anonymous – Could it be that the USA has so far deviated from the Constitution that it might be considered UN-patriotic?

  • Jim Delaney 2010.10.19 at 12:29 | Quote

    Judge Scalia is glaringly wrong. As a previous commenter suggested, the constitutional compact between the States and the federal government was never intended [by the framers]to be a suicide pact. My understanding of the meaning and intent of the framers is that if the feds overreach and, in so doing, violate their constitutional authority and/or usurp State authority, and if that violation is upheld by the Supreme Court, a branch of the federal government, then a State has no other reasonable recourse than to nullify that violation. And should the nullification fail to resolve the issue, it has a duty to secede in order to safeguard constitutional order at least in the State. Note: As a condition of their ratifying the Constitution, within their state constitutions, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia reserved their right to secede and none of the ratifiers objected. The right to secede on the part of those states which comprised the defeated CSA is prohibited by their respective constitutions. Why? With the barrel of gun pointing at their heads, could they have done otherwise? No free man can be compelled to live under tyranny. And as for the indivisibility of the union, what is remotely redeeming or high-minded about an indivisible socialist or neo-Marxist union? Americans wouldn’t stand for it.

  • brent dillard 2010.10.26 at 19:50 | Quote

    the title reads ” The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” and the last paragraph reads “these United Colonies are,and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States” it also reads “To secure these rights [ of Life,Liberty,and the Pursuit of happiness], Goverments are instituted among Men,deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed… Whenever any Form of Goverment becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it,and to institute new Goverment you see where our founding fathers where going with this the south was right in 1861 because america was right in 1776

  • steve 2010.12.15 at 00:09 | Quote

    here is just a thought, maybe im wrong but hear me out. why would any state need to have the right given from the federal government to succeed? just like in the civil war, succession creates a new country with a new government and a new set of rules aside from the old government and the only way for the old government to take it back would be by force (war). There fore any state can succeed any time it wants because the act is not necessarily an act that requires the permission of the old government. Short of aggression the old government would be powerless to stop it.

  • Paul H 2011.8.4 at 01:18 | Quote

    Always learned that states had the right to leave the union if they desired to and I support it. Can’t have a free country, otherwise. But I guess that’s ok if the U.S. doesn’t want to recognize a “right” to secession; maybe it’ll just have to be violently secured in its own right.

  • Trapper 2011.9.10 at 13:45 | Quote

    Scalia, said in fact do to the corrupt northern government wining the 1960′s,war, that no right now exist for the now Inslaved States to secede, the problem in this reasoning is the Force of Armes that creates this point on view, opens the reasioning that armed force and wining gives the right to secede, so their is a clear right of states to secede, they only have to kick the shit out of the federal criminals.

  • Alpine 2011.10.28 at 07:36 | Quote

    I do not understand how we even have time to worry about promoting the confederate flag when there are more important issues like creating jobs. Its not Rick Perry’s fault the issue came up – its the people who want the confederate flag recognized. How can those people push their issue in Perry’s face when there are more important matters like housing the homeless, medical programs for children, and creating jobs. I think that the Sons of the Confederate Veterans need to back down and let our government focus on main issues.

  • mark 2011.11.6 at 01:19 | Quote

    Can a person be a patriot (love of one’s country) and wish to leave it? Interesting. The United States was formed by a secession from Great Britain. The founding father’s referred to themselves and we refer to them as well as patriots. Their patriotism seemed to change from Britain to the new colonies. Obstensibly these new “patriots” would do likewise. Perhaps it’s true, all politics is local.

  • History buff 2011.11.7 at 06:58 | Quote

    Why is that Americans have such a tough time seperating nation and government. Most Europeans find it quite humurous that you seem to be unable to do so, when we can do it almost automatically. Whether it be France, Germany, the Netherlands or the UK everyone I speak to finds it easy to see the distinction between the two. I guess in the same way we see ourselves as our country first and then as a European. It is also easy to see that you have lost control of your federal government and it controls more and more aspects of your lives. Any one of our countries could choose to leave the European Union and there has been some talk about doing so. Would there be war because of it? Of course not. I realize the circumstances are different but not too dissimilar. Also we find it much easier to love our countries but openly fight or protest our governments. Whemwill you learn that they are 2 very distinct and seperate things?

  • isBubba 2011.11.15 at 16:49 | Quote

    It’s absurd to even think there is no Constitutional right of the People to secede from a union. This freedom is foundational to the very precursor of our Constitution, The Declaration of Independence:

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

    Anyone who cannot oblige this concept is nothing less than an obstructionist to the God-given rights of all mankind.

    There “ain’t no way” you, Scalia or anyone else will convince me otherwise.

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