Sunday, November 4, 2012

Revisiting Secession: A Constitutional Check on Federal Tyranny

Regarding the nature of this hallowed union of States, Americans must never, ever forget how the Founders viewed this union and the States which comprise it.  

We must get past the adolescent, uninformed, politically correct and self-destructive notion that this union is inviolably indissoluble. This union is not indivisible and never has been.  To believe otherwise defies logic, commonsense and flies in the face of our founders’ understanding. Despite the relentless brainwashing over the years, a little honest research—without the blinders—is all that is required for readers to clearly understand the unassailability of a State’s right to secede.

From its inception, the united States of America has been a voluntary association of sovereign States. In truth, no States were coerced to become members of that association. The union is a contractual association, a compact of independent States, any of which may secede from that association should the other party to that contract, that being the federal government, fails to uphold its contractual obligations.  To wit,  as a condition of their ratifying the US Constitution, Virginia, Maryland and Rhode Island explicitly reserved their right to secede, and no objections from the Founders were raised. And, in accordance with the 10th Amendment, because the Constitution does not prohibit secession, that power, like all other powers not specifically delegated to the federal government is reserved to the States.

No amount of revisionist history, lawyerly contrivances, political obfuscation, or otherwise misguided case law can nullify that fundamental truth. The judiciary is not sovereign and supreme. The States and the People are, and that is the way our founders intended it to be.

Further, without the approval of a duly-elected State legislature or, should it be impossible to timely convene the legislature, an invitation of the Governor, may force of arms  be applied by either the federal government or sister States to quell rebellion within a particular State or to otherwise impose the union’s will on any member of that compact. Because a misapplication of military force against a State or States may have been perpetrated in the past can in no way render that action lawful or constitutional.

To be specific, Article IV, Sec 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides that “The US shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.” As such, it provides that the federal government shall protect each of the States of the union “against invasion, and on application of the legislature, or of the governor (when the legislature cannot be timely convened) against domestic violence.”

Extremely important to note is the admonition of James Madison respecting this federal guarantee: in Federalist 43, he stated that the authority of the federal union “extends no further than to a guaranty of a republican form of government”...and that “whenever the States may choose to substitute other republican forms, they have a right to do so.”

Conveniently overlooked by”nationalists”, proponents of a supreme central government, is the fact that during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, James Madison, father of the Constitution, expressed his revulsion with the notion of the federal government's committing armed force against any State for any reason outside that limited purpose clearly provided for in Art IV, Sec 4,  asserting that “a Union of States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction,” saying that “the use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war” and, to the party being assailed, “would probably be considered as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it was bound [to the union}.”

Thus, again, the only instance when the States or the federal authority may use force of arms against a State is if that State violates Art 4 Sec 4 of the Constitution, a provision which mandates that all State governments be republican in design. And only if a foreign entity has seized control of that State’s republican apparatus, thus rendering the legislature something other than duly-elected and/or the governor something other than duly-authorized, may the States and/or the federal government apply military force to bring that State back into compliance with the Constitution.

That said, with the acquiescence of Congress, it is manifestly obvious that Pres. Lincoln, for whatever reason, political or otherwise, overreached his constitutional authority by committing armed forces against  the seceding Confederate States of America in 1861, plunging this nation into one of the bloodiest and costliest wars in its history. And only by force of arms and a gun to their heads did the victorious North illegally compel the vanquished southern States to officially repudiate their inherent constitutional right to secede--which begs the question that if the States did not have the residual and inherent power and right to secede then why would they be required to renounce that authority?

 Asserting that the union was somehow indivisible, a concocted notion entirely foreign to the Founders, Mr. Lincoln, with much patriotic fervor, political fanfare,  lofty rhetoric, and faulty argumentation, brazenly flouted the constitution with impunity by violating the sacred right of those 11 sovereign States to legally secede from this voluntary union.   In truth,  the Founders well-understood that this union of States was never intended to be any more perpetual, aka eternal, than the confederation of States which preceded it, and that the union's survival was solely dependent upon both parties to the compact fully upholding their obligations under that contract.         

It should be remembered that when any suggestion of calling forth military force against a State was brought up in the Constitutional or State Ratifying Conventions, the notion of indivisibility was unanimously rejected by both framers and ratifiers alike. Irresistible and unavoidable conclusion: by plunging the union into war with the Confederate States of America, our childhood hero, Abraham Lincoln, was in clear violation of the original meaning, intent and spirit of the Constitution. In short, Mr. Lincoln, was dead wrong and our history teachers and textbooks have routinely and thoughtlessly foisted the myth of indivisibility upon generations of gullible children.
                  
In all of my research over the years, there has been no evidence that the myopic notion of union at any price was ever conceived of or in any way embraced by the Founders. In fact, there's considerable evidence that the Founders viewed the very concept of indivisibility as dangerous. The States’ inherent right to secede, to interpose, to resist an overreaching central government remains as unmistakable, unambiguous  and unalienable today as it was in 1787.  

For future reference, let that truth sink in. To safeguard individual liberty, constitutional governance, and the sovereignty of the States, the immediate fiduciary agents of We the People, if our resistance to tyranny must necessarily entail secession, then that rightful form of redress and resistance must be fully embraced and fearlessly acted upon.

If the clear choice is liberty or union, can there be any doubt as to a free people's choice? Of course not. And the Founders knew that very well.