States Don’t Need To Petition To Leave The Union
By: J.J. Jackson
You might have heard stories this past week about states that are petitioning the President for permission to secede from The Union. The Union, being The United States of America. But this actually is just sloppy reporting by the main stream media.
First of all, what are being filed are petitions on the White House’s website by groups of citizens. In order for the President to review them, or do whatever it is he does with them, they have to get a certain number of signatories. These are not, I repeat NOT, petitions by the actual States themselves. Anyone reporting otherwise is simply wrong.
Second of all, it is a pointless exercise because States do not need to petition the federal government, much less the messiah, to secede. They simply say, “We’re seceding.” Then they secede.
See, the Constitution spells out the powers of our federal government. It also clearly states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That would be in Amendment Ten.
So, look through the Constitution and see if you can find any mention of the federal government having the power to keep States from leaving the Union. No? Well, that means the power is reserved by the States. Not even Obama, sitting upon his throne in the White House, has anything to say about it.
Now, maybe you are scratching your head. Because, perhaps you have been taught that the Civil War settled, once and for all, the issue of whether or not States could secede from The Union. The southern states tried it. The north attacked and said, “Oh, no you don’t! Once in The Union, always in The Union!”
Sadly, that is about the extent of most people’s understanding of events. What the Civil War was actually fought over was not the right of states to secede, but whether or not states had a right to secede in order to deny persons within their borders (who were previously subject to U.S. jurisdiction) their rights. That would be black people, if I have to spell it out for you more clearly.
See, the real story behind the Civil War is that the South did not like the growing anti-slavery sentiment in the North. They felt that with Lincoln’s election they would be forced to free their slaves and treat them as equals. I know, perish the though! So, several States at the time had this really “great” idea which went along the lines of, “Hey, if we just leave The Union, we can continue to treat blacks like property.”
I know that people come up with all sorts of excuses as to how the Civil War was not about slavery. But, all one has to do is look at the actual declarations of secession from several of the States speaking on the issue. Georgia’s mentions slavery as a reason for seceding more than thirty times. Mississippi’s declaration mentions slavery seven times. South Carolina’s states complaints about slavery being threatened over a dozen times. Texas declares slavery as a cause over twenty times.
So please, spare us all the lies about how the Civil War was not about slavery. Understanding this, what the Civil War actually settled was the issue about whether or not States could secede from The Union for the expressed purpose of oppressing persons within their borders and denying these people their inalienable rights. Nothing more.
It would be like Massachusetts saying, “You know, we really don’t like the Jews. We want to eliminate them. But because U.S. law prevents us from doing so, we’re going to secede from The Union. Then we’re going to round up all the Jews and burn them in ovens.”
This would be something, I would hope, that our federal government would immediately act to stop. But, then again, liberals are in charge in Washington … and we all know their history with not liking the Jews.
However, if a State simply says, “Hey, you know what? We don’t like the way The Union is headed. We’re going to leave,” that is perfectly legal. There is nothing the federal government can do about it.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts The Right Things. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.