When did the States lose their Sovereignty?

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unionblue

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Could the States convene a Convention of States per Article V and eliminate the federal government, recend all powers delegated and reassume their Sovereignty?
Do they want to?

"When the people rise in masses in behalf of the Union and the liberties of their country, truly may it be said, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against them.""
 

OpnCoronet

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The 'People' of the United States, in their capacity as the ultimate source of all authority and power of Law of their governments, can at their will change or even eliminate its Constiitutional gov't and replace it with any other they see fit, as provided for in the Constitution of the United States of America.
 

unionblue

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The 'People' of the United States, in their capacity as the ultimate source of all authority and power of Law of their governments, can at their will change or even eliminate its Constiitutional gov't and replace it with any other they see fit, as provided for in the Constitution of the United States of America.
Agreed.

But it's going to take a lot more than a few disgruntled folks to effect such a constitutional change.

Americans are a funny people, as evidenced by their history. They will take quite a bit of guff for a while, tolerate imperfections and outright wrongs for a time, but, get out of their way, once they make up their minds to do something.
 
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BigTex

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Do they want to?

"When the people rise in masses in behalf of the Union and the liberties of their country, truly may it be said, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against them.""
It was a theoretical question. I cannot see a reason for it, presently. Sovereignty is everything to a State. Without sovereignty a state is only a satrap or province and cannot be described as a state.
 

trice

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Could the States convene a Convention of States per Article V and eliminate the federal government, recend all powers delegated and reassume their Sovereignty?
By following the procedures in Article V, the Constitution can be amended to do almost anything. After 1807, there is really only one thing that can't be changed.
Article. V.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

The States could call for a Convention ("The Congress ... on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments ..."). The Congress would then actually call the Convention of States.

That Convention could then propose amendments, which would be submitted through the Congress to the States for ratification. Assuming three-quarters of the States (their Legislature or Convention as the Congress recommends) then ratified the Amendment(s), the changes would go into effect.

The States themselves have no power or right to call a Convention that directly changes the Constitution.
 
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unionblue

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It was a theoretical question. I cannot see a reason for it, presently. Sovereignty is everything to a State. Without sovereignty a state is only a satrap or province and cannot be described as a state.
@BigTex ,

Without sovereignty a state is something less?

Fine with me, as I have seen no great thing settled by a state that mattered. It was the individual states that, on the whole, refused women the vote. It was the states, on the whole, he would not permit persons of color the right to vote. It was the states, being selfish and self centered, that almost brought the Revolution to an unsuccessful conclusion.

On the other hand, it was the federal government who desegregated schools, established voting rights, brought women the vote, enforced a Pure Food and Drug Act, child labor laws and other laws and rights that were of benefit to the entire nation, while individual states, who were under influences of powerful individuals and groups, fought and defeated these same issues on a state level.

Never understood how things were going to be so much better with a state deciding issues than thing being decided by the people of a united nation.

In the end, a state is dirt, a piece of ground, a line on a map, that decides nothing for itself. It is the people who live, work, and die there that decide. Why is that so frightening a concept when the people's boundries encompass an entire nation?

Until our next post,
Unionblue
 
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trice

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It was a theoretical question. I cannot see a reason for it, presently. Sovereignty is everything to a State. Without sovereignty a state is only a satrap or province and cannot be described as a state.
Most States never were (even theoretically) independently sovereign before they became one of the States within the Union of the United States of America.
  1. The original 13 States (NH-MA-RI-CT-NY-NJ-PA-DE-MD-VA-NC-SC-GA) can claim that they were free, independent and sovereign as a result of the American Revolution and the 1783 Treaty of Paris (I am not sure I agree completely, but they can certainly make a strong and excellent argument that they were).
  2. Vermont does claim that they were independently sovereign before they entered the Union, although that claim was disputed at the time by NY and NH. Those 2 states eventually gave up their claims, allowing VT to enter the Union in 1791.
  3. Texas was independent and sovereign in 1836-46 (although Mexico disputed it). However, the Republic of Texas decided to end itself and be annexed by the United States, becoming the new State of Texas in 1846 (starting the Mexican War).
  4. Hawaii was a kingdom until 1893 when the government was overthrown by a Committee of Safety composed mainly of US citizens, supported by the US Minister to the Kingdom of Hawaii. This coup formed the short-lived Republic of Hawaii, which was annexed by the US after McKinley became President, making Hawaii a Territory of the US until it became a State in 1959. In 1993, the US Congress passed an Apology Resolution formally apologizing for the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government and the annexation of the islands.
  5. The other 34 States do not have a leg to stand on if they want to claim they were ever free, sovereign and independent before they became a State in the Union. They were all split off from US territory, organized by the US government, and were never independently sovereign before becoming US States. If they want to nullify/break the agreement that allowed them to become US States, the logical legal result would be that they revert to their status before they became States: they would become US Territories once again.
The United States of America under the Constitution is a Federal Union where the sovereignty of the individual States is limited and defined by the Constitution (just as the sovereignty of the Federal government is limited by the Constitution). There are other nations of that model (Germany and Switzerland for example) -- but the States there have different amounts of sovereignty based on the constitutions they operate under.
 
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