Jon Carson does a wonderful job of responding to the recent flurry of White House Petitions requesting that individual states be given the right to secede from the Union.
Thank you for using the White House’s online petitions platform to participate in your government.
That sentence alone defuses any credibility that these silly petitions might enjoy. There is just a little irony in Americans utilizing their Constitutional rights through a website that encourages participatory democracy and that is maintained by taxpayer dollars.
But just in case you slept through your American history and civics classes Carson follows up with a reminder that the sacrifice paid by Americans during the Civil War and beyond guarantees your right to petition your government.
Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States “in order to form a more perfect union” through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot — a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it. As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address in 1861, “in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.” In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that “[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.”
It’s almost as good as the White House response to the Death Star petition.
No surprise that South Carolina is on that list. After 150 years, I would have thought we learned our lesson and just cut off that territory and let it float away into the sea.
I was teaching a Continuing Legal Education course on Naturalization yesterday. One requirement for new citizens is “adherence to the Constitution.” If an immigrant said he supported secession, I’m guessing his Naturalization application would be denied. But, while the native-born signers of the petitions clearly don’t want to be Americans they will be allowed to vote in the next election.