Proclamation of Gov. Robert Hayne of SC concerning State's Rights

unionblue

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@Andersonh1 ,

Yet when we view that same Constitution and see all of the things a State is forbidden to do, how does anyone, to include Calhoun, justify unilateral secession? Either we take the document whole, as written, or do we just 'infer' what we want whenever we want?

Unionblue
Do you look at the Constitution and see any restrictions on the Federal government? Because that, and not the States, is the primary focus of the Constitution. It sets up, defines, empowers and limits the Federal government. State limitations are there to resolve conflicts in authority between Federal and State that would otherwise exist when it comes to the functioning of the Union.

Are the powers and restrictions on States in the Constitution an exhaustive list, yes or no? The answer is clearly no. How then do you determine what other powers a State or the people have that are not defined?

I do see an entire section of the Constitution on what the States cannot do.

Section 10, Articles 1, 2, & 3. All of them contain the words, "No State shall, without the consent of Congress" do any of the things that come under the heading of unilateral secession/rebellion.
The Constitution is silent on secession, unilateral or otherwise.
It's silent, because it isn't there.

"The South contends that a state has a constitutional right to secede from the Union formed with her sister states. In this I submit the South errs. No power or right is constitutional but what can be exercised in a form or mode provided in the constitution for it's exercise. Secession is therefore not constitutional, but revolutionary; and is only morally competent, like war, upon failure of justice."

--Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
 
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John S. Carter

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Mar 15, 2017
Do you look at the Constitution and see any restrictions on the Federal government? Because that, and not the States, is the primary focus of the Constitution. It sets up, defines, empowers and limits the Federal government. State limitations are there to resolve conflicts in authority between Federal and State that would otherwise exist when it comes to the functioning of the Union.

Are the powers and restrictions on States in the Constitution an exhaustive list, yes or no? The answer is clearly no. How then do you determine what other powers a State or the people have that are not defined?
This would have been easily solved if the Founders would have listed the powers of the states instead they simply stated that the powers which the central did not have or needed were returned to the states. The authorities were given to the branches of the central government and those that were not STATED were returned to the states Ever since that time the states have fought over what those were and even went to war over this disagreement, starting with the formation of the two political parties being the Federalist of John Adams and AL. Hamilton and the Democratic/ Republican of Tom Jefferson ,John Madison, and Jimmy Monroe. Could it be not stated that from the very start of this country that the whole issue would be which political philosophy ,one of central vs states control would be the main cause in what would be the division in this union {Civil War/ Southern Revolution}, Different names would be attached to these parties but the main philosophies would remain. It is humorous that this still continues except that the party that was central authority was states rights and the states right is now central authority.
 

Quaama

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This would have been easily solved if the Founders would have listed the powers of the states instead they simply stated that the powers which the central did not have or needed were returned to the states. The authorities were given to the branches of the central government and those that were not STATED were returned to the states Ever since that time the states have fought over what those were and even went to war over this disagreement, starting with the formation of the two political parties being the Federalist of John Adams and AL. Hamilton and the Democratic/ Republican of Tom Jefferson ,John Madison, and Jimmy Monroe. Could it be not stated that from the very start of this country that the whole issue would be which political philosophy ,one of central vs states control would be the main cause in what would be the division in this union {Civil War/ Southern Revolution}, Different names would be attached to these parties but the main philosophies would remain. It is humorous that this still continues except that the party that was central authority was states rights and the states right is now central authority.

It would be rare for a new nation's constitution do do such a thing [I don't know of any that do].

Generally, if a group of States join together and initiate a Federal Government its constitution would mention what powers that new Federal Government would have and let the original State laws proceed as before. Unless specifically excluded then existing State laws would remain. The US constitution in Article I (especially Section 8) goes to the trouble of listing what powers the [Federal] Congress has to make laws and specifies some specific things that States can not do. - everything else is left in the hands of the States.

The Australian Constitution does the same thing, listings the areas where the new Federal Government has powers to make laws and leaving the rest up to the States.

That is, a national Constitution specifies what powers the new Federal Government has and by default whatever is not so specified, or specifically excluded from the States, remains with the States.

Australia had one big advantage over the USA when our Constitution was drafted - it was done so within living memory of your civil war. So, being keen to to have a bloody conflict here, our Constitution states in the very first sentence that the States "have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth".
[Still, should a State here ever decide to leave (and occasionally there is loose talk of one doing so), I'm not going over there to shoot them and force them to come back to the 'indissoluble' nation of Australia.]
 
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