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Calif. County Votes for Secession from State

Photo Credit: Chris Stewart

Photo Credit: Chris Stewart

Supervisors in a far Northern California county where residents are fed up with what they see as a lack of representation at the state capitol and overregulation have voted in favor of separating from the state.

The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on Tuesday for a declaration of secession, the Record Searchlight of Redding reported (http://bit.ly/1cFTqUG ). The vote appears mostly symbolic since secession would require approval from the state Legislature and the U.S. Congress, but supporters say it would restore local control over decision making. They want other rural counties in Northern California and Southern Oregon to join them in the creation of a new state called the State of Jefferson.

“Many proposed laws are unconstitutional and deny us our God-given rights,” Gabe Garrison of Happy Camp said at the meeting. “We need our own state so we can make laws that fit our way of life.”

Garrison was among more than 100 people who attended the meeting, and most were in support of the declaration, according to the Record Searchlight.

The declaration does not launch any type of formal process toward secession, but only reflects the county’s support, said Tom Odom, the county’s administrative officer.

Read more from this story HERE.

‘North Colorado’ Secession Movement Inches Forward

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Voters in Weld County will vote on whether to secede from Colorado after commissioners this week unanimously agreed to put the question on November’s ballot.

Weld County, the largest of several that have been seriously discussing breaking away to form their own state, joins three other counties in putting the question to its citizens. Several others are also considering referring the measure to voters or waiting to see if citizen initiatives show support for the idea.

The so-called 51st State Initiative is a result of rural Coloradans feeling abandoned by politicians in Denver. The last legislative session, which was controlled by Democratic majorities in both chambers, saw the passage of numerous controversial laws, many of which thumb their noses at rural values, commissioners in the plains counties have said.

Chief among them was a controversial bill requiring rural electricity cooperatives to double the amount of renewable energy they offer by 2020, a mandate that doesn’t apply to city utilities and which opponents have said will raise electricity rates on rural customers.

County leaders have also been alarmed at attempts to strengthen regulations on oil and gas developers, which are heavily invested in rural counties. And they’ve also been riled by tough new gun laws that limit the size of ammunition magazines and require universal background checks for all firearms transfers.

Read more from this story HERE.

The True Right to Secede Comes from God, Not the Constitution

In an article I saw this week at WND, Pat Buchanan writes of the Declaration of Independence:

The declaration was signed by 56 angry old white guys who had had enough of what the Cousins were doing to them. In seceding from the mother country, these patriots put their lives, fortunes and honor on the line.

Four score and five years later, 11 states invoked the same right “to dissolve the political bands” of the Union and form a new nation. After 620,000 had perished, the issue of a state’s right to secede was settled at Appomattox. If that right had existed, it no longer did.

I have no idea why Buchanan refers to the signers as “old.” The mean average age of the men who signed the Declaration was 44.5. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin at 70 (though given his personality his colleagues, and the ladies at the Court of France, would probably have pegged it considerably lower). The youngest signers were Thomas Lynch Jr. and Edward Rutledge, at 26. Nearly two-thirds of the signers were in their 30’s or 40’s. Unless he accepts the silly notion that anyone over thirty is old (even less true today than when it was in vogue back in the 60’s), calling the signers “old men” leaves rather a false impression.

Not being a leftist, or one of the dubiously self-professed “conservatives” who regrets the outcome of the War between the States, I see no reason even subtly to denigrate the physical or mental acuity of the people who signed the Declaration. Yet I can’t agree with Buchanan that the right to secede was settled at Appomattox. Buchanan’s statement to that effect reflects the inadequate thinking that results when people use the word “right” as though it’s synonymous with “freedom.” Every right is a use of freedom; but not every use of freedom is a right. The distinction rests on whether the use of freedom satisfies or violates the standard that justifies the assertion of right.

People with sufficient power may successfully use it to enslave others. But given the self-evident truths set out in the Declaration of Independence, such use of their freedom violates the standard of right which impelled the people of the United States “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” The Civil War was therefore not about the right to secede. It was about whether some of the States, frustrated in their efforts to compel the others to enforce and extend their wrongdoing, should be allowed violently to disrupt and attack the government justly ordained and established by the consent of the whole people of the United States, including their own.

President Lincoln clearly anticipated war. But he carefully refrained from authorizing any military initiative against the Confederacy until a facility of the Constitutional government came under violent attack. He then acted to suppress armed insurrection against the Constitutionally-established government of the United States. This was Constitutionally his duty as President of the United States.

Lincoln’s restraint demonstrated his understanding of the issue at stake in the Civil War. In light of that understanding, the outcome of the war did not decide the issue of a state’s right to secede, because the Confederate States were not exercising a right. They were engaged in wrongdoing. Their actions were wrong in principle (i.e., according to the Declaration’s principles of God-endowed justice); and in terms of the U.S. Constitution. The latter requires the President, by oath, to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It nowhere requires or authorizes the States (or any of their officers) to use force to attack the Constitutionally-established government of the United States.

This does not mean that there is no right to secede. Read more from this story HERE.

Secession: “Absolutely Nothing in the Constitution Prohibits It”

For decades, it has been obvious that there are irreconcilable differences between Americans who want to control the lives of others and those who wish to be left alone. Which is the more peaceful solution: Americans using the brute force of government to beat liberty-minded people into submission or simply parting company? In a marriage, where vows are ignored and broken, divorce is the most peaceful solution. Similarly, our constitutional and human rights have been increasingly violated by a government instituted to protect them. Americans who support constitutional abrogation have no intention of mending their ways.

Since Barack Obama’s re-election, hundreds of thousands of petitions for secession have reached the White House. Some people have argued that secession is unconstitutional, but there’s absolutely nothing in the Constitution that prohibits it. What stops secession is the prospect of brute force by a mighty federal government, as witnessed by the costly War of 1861. Let’s look at the secession issue.

At the 1787 constitutional convention, a proposal was made to allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, rejected it, saying: “A Union of the States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.”

On March 2, 1861, after seven states had seceded and two days before Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, Sen. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that said, “No State or any part thereof, heretofore admitted or hereafter admitted into the Union, shall have the power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States.”

Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here’s my no-brainer question: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?

Read more from this story HERE.

Secession, States Rights, and Constitutional Conservatives

Since the election last week, there has been a lot of handwringing among conservatives. Many believe that the United States has descended into a new phase of dependency, where too many citizens and crony corporatists are wedded to DC largesse. Some think this and the cultural decline is irreversible, that America is headed for the abyss.

So how do they react to what they perceive as the “new normal”? Increasing numbers of news reports suggest that at least a few disgruntled Americans see the dissolution of the United States as a viable option. The word “secession” is cropping up in the blogosphere like never before.

Consistent with this, most Restoring Liberty readers have likely seen at least one or two articles on the White House citizen petitions relating to secession. You may have also seen Ron Paul’s recent comments on the subject. Even Justice Scalia has weighed in on the topic.

Given the history of the Alaska Independence Party (we actually had a governor elected from the AIP ticket), you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Alaska hasn’t been immune to this. Several days ago, there was an attempt to pull me directly into a resurgent secessionist debate in Alaska. Emails began to circulate including one suggesting that “the only alternative for the survival of any form of government that was intended by our founding fathers is secession from the union and a declaration of independence of Alaska.”

I fundamentally disagree with this approach. As I noted last week in my post-election breakdown, our country still has hope.

Admittedly, we have widely divergent views on the role and scope of government. I am equally certain that we are becoming increasingly divided on many cultural issues.

These divides were reflected by the startling 40% swing between a number of states in votes for Romney as opposed to Obama (e.g., Utah 73% Romney, Hawaii 70% Obama, Wyoming 69% Romney, Vermont 67% Obama, etc.). Some believe this degree of polarization hasn’t been seen since the Civil War.

Many of our differences seem insurmountable.

But within the context of the state’s rights model – directly patterned off of what the Founders originally intended – these intractable differences can reside quite well together, albeit in different states.

The Founders intended that the states retain a great deal of autonomy. The central government was severely limited, granted only those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

By legal malfeasance, we’ve now ginned up a myriad of powers that the drafters never intended the Constitution to confer upon our national government. That has straight-jacketed the states into a homogenous mass of laws and regulations that were never intended. Rather, the states were intended to be the ultimate legal arbiter in most areas.

As we continue to spend trillions we don’t have, DC will inevitably lose financial power. The country will inevitably face serious economic pain. And the nation will inevitably look for solutions from outside of the narrow parameters set and enforced by the Establishment.

The solution of getting back to an honest interpretation and application of the Constitution with respect to the respective powers of the federal and state governments will allow our increasingly diverse peoples in this country to apply their expectations of government at the state level.

Liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists, the religious, and the secularists can all embrace this approach. Fight your fights in the state of your choice. Set your own education policy. Establish your own regulatory schemes. Permit natural resource extraction as you see fit, all without interference from the feds. Abandon the sinking ship of DC dominance.

So if you are an advocate for secession, please reconsider and redirect your energies toward a real solution that will restore liberty and can accommodate the “new normal” of the United States.

White House Petition Frenzy: New Petition to Strip Citizenship of Secession Signers Gains Steam (+video)

On President Barack Hussein Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov petition website, a new petition has been posted that seeks to strip the citizenship of all citizens who have signed secession petitions. Created on November 12, the petition now has 7,917 signatures.

To meet the White House’s 25,000 signature threshold for consideration, the petition requires – at the time of this posting, an additional 17,083 by December 12, 2012. At the current rate of over 4,000 signatures per day, it seems pretty apparent that this petition will reach its signature goal.

The creator of this most recent petition is “Douglas H.” from Escondido, California.

This new petition – as well as the secession petitions that have been filed since last week’s election – stand little chance of going anywhere despite the Obama administration’s attempt to create false expectations by citing to successful petitions relating to the women’s right to vote, slavery, and civil rights under the link, “History of Petitions.” The White House conveniently leaves out that such “petitions” required constitutional amendments and/or congressional action as well.

Other disappointing features of the WhiteHouse.gov petition site include the “We the People” wording on the headers of each page as well as the shaded “TAX CUTS” phrase immediately above “We the People.” The Obama administration likely got some real humor out of the inclusion of both phrases, given its antipathy to both Tea Party “We the People” ideals as well as tax cuts.

Here’s what the White House itself says about its petition process:

Now What? White House ‘Secede’ Petitions Reach 660,000 Signatures, 50-State Participation

Less than a week after a New Orleans suburbanite petitioned the White House to allow Louisiana to secede from the United States, petitions from seven states have collected enough signatures to trigger a promised review from the Obama administration.

By midnight Tuesday, more than 660,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.

A petition from Vermont, where talk of secession is a regular feature of political life, was the final entry.

Petitions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas residents have accrued at least 25,000 signatures, the number the Obama administration says it will reward with a staff review of online proposals.

The Texas petition leads all others by a wide margin. Shortly before midnight Tuesday, it had attracted more than 92,400 signatures. But a spokesperson for Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday afternoon that he does not support the idea of his state striking out on its own.

Read more from this story HERE.

It Grows: Protesters from Forty-seven States Now Petitioning White House to ‘Secede’

Conservatives have voted more than 375,000 times since Election Day to pick up their marbles and go home. That’s how many virtual signatures appeared Monday night, as clocks in Washington, D.C. chimed midnight, on petitions asking President Barack Obama’s administration to allow 47 of the 50 U.S. states to secede from the country.

A petition from an Arlington, Texas man, launched Nov. 9 via the Obama White House website’s “We the People” tool, had more than 58,000 signatures. That’s more than twice the 25,000 it had Monday morning, a number required to trigger an automatic White House review, according to the administration’s own published rules.

A similar petition from a Louisiana native crossed the 25,000 threshold as Monday drew to a close on the East Coast.

Launched Nov. 7, the day after Obama won re-election, the Pelican State’s spark set off an Internet-driven cascade of disaffected tea partiers and other conservatives looking — as one petition organizer told The Daily Caller via a “direct message” on Twitter — “just to do something, anything, to show we’re not going away quietly.”

It’s not clear whether, or to what extent, individuals are signing more than one petition. The White House’s online rules do not prohibit Americans from signing a petition that would not affect states where they live.

Read more from this story HERE.