In praise of secession (to a degree)

posted at 8:01 am on November 7, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Right up front, let’s get one thing out of the way. I’m not here today talking about states picking up their ball and going home, leaving the union, declaring civil war or anything of the sort. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the wrong lemonade stand. But it’s worth noting that this isn’t the only type of “secession” on the books here. On election day this week, Colorado experimented briefly with a different and absolutely constitutional form of the action. But, for better or worse, it wasn’t a raging success.

Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said the 51st state movement is halted — at least in his county — but there were positive benefits from the secession campaign.

“Weld County voters said this is an option we shouldn’t pursue and we won’t pursue it,” Conway said Tuesday night. “But we will continue to look at the problems of the urban and rural divide in this state.”

Weld County voters Tuesday soundly rejected the 51st State Initiative 58 percent to 42 percent.

But in five of the 11 counties where the secession question appeared on the ballot, the measure passed by strong margins.

In Kit Carson County, 52 percent of voters directed county commissioners to explore secession and 48 percent voted against. In Washington County, 58 percent were for the initiative and 42 percent against.

Before continuing, just as a side note to Channel 4, CBS Denver, even if it’s just your web site, you need to get somebody on that editing desk…


Moving on. The idea that residents of rural Colorado (and apparently some other states) are kicking around is the concept of splitting off from the urban portions of their state and forming a new, 51st state. It’s legal, but as we find in Article IV of the Constitution, it comes with a few caveats.

Section 3. New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.

So even if you vote to do it by referendum, you’ve still got to sell the idea to the legislature of your existing state and get it through the Congress. It may as well be impossible when you think about it in those terms. But what if you could pull it off? I can think of a few states which might benefit quite a bit. One of them is New York. If we could split upstate away from the Big Apple, you’d wind up with a fairly agreeable situation all around. First of all, the upstate folks might be able to actually start selling their water to the city instead of just getting robbed. It could also potentially set up two state governments which were much more in tune with the needs and profile of the residents they represent. Rural, farming and mountain communities have very different requirements than vast, densely packed urban areas.

The political benefits could be considerable also. New York City is not entirely homogeneous in its ideology, but it’s not far off. Let them have their own voting kingdom. Upstate, on the other hand, is split up into different pockets which could wind up with a far more equitable divide in Albany. Further, each half of the newly divided state could have their own pair of Senators. As for the rest of the nation, they would rid themselves of the albatross of this huge slug of electoral votes ginned up around such a misfit conglomeration and see a more competitive environment in national races.

A pipe dream? Probably. But the possibilities are tantalizing, you must admit. I’m sure there are a few more “dual identity” states out there which could consider something similar. And what’s the down side?

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Comment pages: 1 2

To clarify, one of the Colorado counties, Moffat, voted to join Wyoming, a little bit easier proposition.

2014 will be very interesting here. It was nice to see some push back with Amendment 66 going down in flames and reform candidates sweeping the school board races. But if next year doesn’t continue that streak, Wyoming here we come.

Common Sense on November 7, 2013 at 7:11 PM

I’m sure if these counties had their way it would ruin the map and fracture Colorado, Colorado being the most rectangular state in the Union.

The Nerve on November 7, 2013 at 7:56 PM

There is a much MUCH simpler solution to this debacle of the highly populated urban areas controlling everything that goes on in nearly every state. Since the people are equally represented in a house of representatives, the senate in each state needs to be divided up with equal representation from each county instead of the state being divided up into voter districts for a senate based on population just like those of a house of representatives. As it stands right now, this gives the urban areas double the say in what goes on in the legislatures.

My system – actually the Founding Father’s ORIGINAL system – gives the rural areas an equal say in a senate. Therefore, no law can pass out of a legislature that isn’t good for both the rural and urban areas. If the people in an area want to pass certain laws to benefit their area or themselves they will have to do so in their local area only and not drag in and burden the rest of the state with their nefarious deals.

This applies at the Feral Government level as well. The several states need to take control of the US Senate back by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment. The people are well represented in the House of Representatives and do not need a double down in the Senate. You wouldn’t have the Feral Government turning your state governments into just another batch of federal bureaucracies with all those mandates.

Think about it, do it, and watch the “progressive” movement come to a screeching halt and then watch the Feral Government quickly return to the Federal Government it is supposed to be – small, limited in its scope according to the Constitution, and out of our hair so we can get back to prosperity and freedom.


woodcdi on November 7, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Comment pages: 1 2