10th Amendment usage for secession

Potomac Pride

First Sergeant
Oct 28, 2011
Nothing is more glaringly indicative of a baseless theory than refusing to engage in a substantive discussion of it. Apparently, scrutiny is to secession theories what daylight is to vampires. And that’s fitting, since both are imaginary.

As @jgoodguy has noted several times, we still have no evidence of a constitutional right to unilateral secession squirreled away in the Tenth Amendment. In fact, I haven’t seen any such right demonstrated anywhere on this forum. Secession theories were nothing but desperate, hail Mary shots by various disgruntled groups who felt their way of life was being marginalized by the democratic process. One notable exception was Rawle, but he exploded his own theory by applying conditions and procedures to the so-called right, which is EXACTLY what the Framers would have done if they had intended any such right. Only one noteworthy Framer ever weighed in on secession directly and specifically, mainly because only one lived long enough to see it seriously pursued as a legal right. Funny thing is, secessionists relied on him to provide the legal legs for their doctrine, and he then cut the legs out from under it.
Sorry if my discussion of secession did not satisfy you. In regards to your vampire analogy, maybe you didn't read the section of the rules about agreeing to disagree respectfully.

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Feb 28, 2019
The 10th. Amendment says:
"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."

I really fail to understand where people get the idea that the 10th Amendment allows for secession?
I see this on CWTBB, on FB, and other sites, but where do they get where it's allowed FROM the 10th Amendment? Is this a "talking point" taught somewhere, a "vague" notion that's used because it can't be proven/disproven somehow?

Kevin Dally
In Jurisprudence what is "written" and what is "meant" is always at odds.
The question of secession "was not who was right in their interpretation, but what interpretation is
more beneficial to the United States."

Yes Southern interpretation of the 10th amendment of "what is written" is correct

And yes, Lincoln interpretation "of what is meant" by "preserving the Union" is also correct
(though the preamble does not grant powers, it shows scope, purpose, and intent).

But, which one is more beneficial to the United States...Lincoln and the North answered "Preserving the Union."

However, what about the Supreme Court? Does not their opinion rule? This was a bench, though,
that ruled against "Dred Scott" ( the worst opinion of all times)!

Remember, The United States Supreme Court is not "a referee" with superior authority
to enforce its opinions as to what "the law of the land will be."

It does not have the power of writ (an order) over the legislative or excutive branches.

All three constitutional branches have equal power to interprete "what the law of the land will be."

As an example:

When the Civil War started, The United States Supreme Court (a Southern packed court in 1861)
issued a writ ordering Lincoln to cease making war against the South. Lincoln of course laughed,
and throw the writ back in the face of the Supreme Court telling them that "they did not have
the power of writ." Congress agreed with Lincoln.

So, in fact Lincoln and Congress didn't unconstitutionally "ignore" or "violate" some unknown
Supreme Court Superior power in interpreting the law...what Lincoln and Congress did instead was to
exercised their constitutional right by "equal power" to interpret the law, and determine within
their powers "the law of the land" without the Supreme Court support.

And that was fighting a Civil War!
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