September 9, 2013

NOT HARD ENOUGH:

Why it's so hard for states to break up  (Jon Terbush, 9/09/13, The Week)

Last week, a northern California county voted to secede from the rest of the state. The country, Siskiyou, asked other northern California and southern Oregon municipalities to join it in creating the new State of Jefferson. Piece of cake, right?

Except people can't go around arbitrarily declaring they've carved new states out of old ones. If they could, we would probably have the state of Austin, as well as Jon Rulesland, an autocratic state encompassing solely my apartment.

As the Washington Post's Michael S. Rosenwald noted in an article on a nascent secession movement in Maryland, statehood via secession is a monumental task:

Hard is probably understating the challenge. Political experts and historians say the efforts at new statehood around the country will be nearly impossible to pull off, though they could spread virally through social media, attracting mainstream attention.

"As a legal matter, it will be incredibly difficult, and it's probably not going to happen," says Wellman, the secession expert at Washington University. [Washington Post]

There have been hundreds of efforts to split states since America's founding, but only a handful have proven successful, none in the past 150 years. Maine, Kentucky, and Tennessee all owe their founding to secession, as does West Virginia, which during the Civil War became the last state to secede its way into existence.




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Posted by at September 9, 2013 4:32 PM
  

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