Which is it? Some pro-secessionists say because the Constitution doesn’t say anything about secession, it’s legal. Others say the 9th and 10th Amendments make secession legal. Neither are (sic) correct. Which I guess underlines why they can’t get their stories straight.This is incorrect, as we shall see. It's not about legalities and illegalities. It's about prohibitions. Secession is not prohibited to the states. The power to prohibit secession is not delegated to the US, thus it is not prohibited.
Although, if you are saying secession is legal through the Constitution, then Article 1, Sec. 10 says it isn’t.
Article 1, Section 10, which he cites, sez:
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."No state..." it sez. Now, first let's establish what states this referring to. Obviously, the individual states of the United States. Not, say, Chihuahua or Sonora in Mexico. Or the Canadian provinces (Canada's "states") like Ontario or Manitoba, or the states of any other country. Just the United States. Can we agree on that?
The 10th Amendment states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people."The powers prohibited to the states are identified in Article I, Section 10, of the U.S. Constitution. Secession is not among them, so it is not prohibited.
The power to prohibit secession is not listed among the powers delegated to the United States, so it is not prohibited.
Secession is withdrawal -- formal withdrawal. Per Dictionary.com, to secede is to withdraw formally from an alliance, federation, or association, as from a political union, a religious organization, etc.
What one does after withdrawing is not part of the withdrawing, correct?
Now, look carefully at Article 1, Section 10 again....
- Entering into a treaty, alliance or confederation is not secession, i.e., not formal withdrawal.
- Granting letters of Marque and Reprisal is not secession, i.e., not formal withdrawal.
- Coining money is not secession, i.e., not formal withdrawal.
- Emiting bills of credit is not secession, i.e., not formal withdrawal.
- Making something besides gold or silver coins tender for payment of debts is not secession, i.e., not formal withdrawal.
- Passing any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto laws, or laws impairing the obligation of contracts is not secession, i.e., not formal withdrawal.
- Granting titles of nobility is not secession, i.e., not formal withdrawal.
The commenter is trying to de-legitimize the states of the Confederacy by saying they violated some or all of the provisions of Section 10, particularly entering into a Confederation. But what he is not taking into consideration is that none of the Confederate states did any of these things while they were still states of the USA and parties to the Constitution. They did some of them after they seceded, when the Constitution and those Article 1, Section 10 prohibitions no longer applied to them -- when they were no more a state of the USA than Chihuahua or Manitoba...
The Confederacy was formed on February 4, 1861. The following states were admitted to the CSA on February 8, 1861. The date beside each state is the date it seceded from the union and was no longer subject to Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution, or any other Section, Article or Paragraph of that document. Thus, none of them entered into a Confederation while they were still subject to the US Constitution.
Admitted to the Confederacy February 8, 1861:
South Carolina: which seceded December 20, 1860
Mississippi: which seceded January 9, 1861
Florida: which seceded January 10, 1861
Alabama: which seceded January 11, 1861
Georgia: which seceded January 19, 1861
Louisiana: which seceded January 26, 1861
Texas: which seceded February 1, 1861
The following list shows states that were admitted to the Confederacy later. The date they seceded from the union is shown first, followed by the date of admission to the CSA, clearly establishing that none of them violated Article 1, Section 10, either.
Virginia: seceded April 17, 1861. Admitted to the CSA May 7, 1861
Arkansas: seceded May 6, 1861. Admitted to the CSA May 18, 1861
North Carolina: seceded May 20, 1861. Admitted to the CSA May 21, 1861
Tennessee: seceded June 8, 1861. Admitted to the CSA July 2, 1861
Missouri: seceded Oct 31, 1861. Admitted to the CSA Nov. 28, 1861
Kentucky: seceded Nov. 20, 1861. Admitted to the CSADec. 10, 1861
(North Carolina's dates of withdrawal and admission are the closest in time of all the states -- one day. But that's enough to remove North Carolina from the prohibitions of Article 1, Section 10 before entering into the Confederacy. What a difference a day makes, huh....)
I suspect Simpson's commenter will dismiss all this without a single neuron firing... In any case, I'm not expecting him to try to refute it, or to acknowledge it at all.