If Southerners supported "states rights" then why did they push so hard for fugitive slaves laws in the 1850s which are contrary to states rights?

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privateflemming

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I've actually seen some people argue that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was in fact supporting states rights because it merely enforced the property rights of Southerners from Northern interference, even in Northern territory. But I think this seems like a specious argument. Imagine if refugees from a country where slavery is still practiced fled to the US and asked for asylum. Would the US be obligated to return them to their owners demanding them back even though the US has abolished slavery? No, clearly they wouldn't. If you read the Wikipedia article on extradition treaties that exist between countries you can see they all have barriers against extradition for crimes that the extraditing country doesn't recognize or where the accused is likely to face harsh or inhumane punishments. Forcing a country to extradite accused law breakers to another country for crimes they don't even recognize would clearly be an infringement on that country's sovereignty, and the same would apply to states.

It seems like the Southern demands for fugitive slaves to be returned to them by Northern state governments and private individuals living in Northern states where slavery was abolished was an infringement on the rights of those Northern states, making the later claims of Southerners to be defending states rights seem quite hypocritical. Does anyone have an argument against that?
 
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