Is Texas Secession Illegal?

One of the common arguments against secession, Texas or otherwise, is that the act is illegal.

“Why, the Supreme Court said in Texas v. White in 1869 that a State cannot unilaterally secede!”

I’ll give you the answer I provided at a Ron Paul event in 2010: So what?

There are so many things wrong with that decision, but most important is that it is not based on an original understanding of the Constitution.

The 10th Amendment is the only justification needed for unilateral State secession, and last time I checked, it was not removed from the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution does not prohibit a State from seceding from the Union, and since all powers not delegated to the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States or the people of the States–again, secession isn’t there in either case–the act is legal.

This is precisely how the founding generation, North and South, understood the issue.

We know this because Northerners started discussing secession as early as 1794, just five years after the First Congress met in New York.

It was also the very threat of secession that ultimately drove Edmund Randolph to change course and support the Constitution in Virginia. In other words, he knew that States did not have to join the new government, meaning they could secede.

Again, nothing has changed, just the obiter dictum of Salmon P. Chase, a man who had to declare secession to be illegal, otherwise the entire premise of the War would be invalidated.

Lincoln said secession was illegal. The Republican Party said secession was illegal. If it suddenly became legal, then the War would have been illegal as the United States Congress never declared war on the Confederate States and operated for four years under the premise that the South was simply in “rebellion.” It would have invalidated the Reconstruction governments, the 14th Amendment, and every act of military Reconstruction.

In other words, Chase had a political pistol to his head and did not want to pull the trigger.

Regardless, those who ramble on about “treason” are simply brain dead dopes who have no understanding of American history.

I discuss Texas secession on Episode 740 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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