Friday, November 16, 2012
Treason is not the answer
Look. I'm as discouraged and disgusted by Obama's re-election as anybody. But the nut jobs who are talking about the red states seceeding from the Union are beyond the pale.
Treason is not the answer. Besides, we settled the issue of secession a century and a half ago- and not only by the outcome of the Civil War. In Texas v. White, the United States Supreme Court ruled that secession of Texas from the United States was illegal. The court wrote, "The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States."
The movement seems to be especially strong in Texas, where a persistent urban legend says that a treaty between the United States and the Republic of Texas whereby the latter annexed the former included a clause granting Texas the right to secede from the Union if it chose.
There is no such treaty- and Texas has no such right..
Here is the text of the Ordinance of Annexation approved by Texas. And here is the Joint Resolution of Congress annexing Texas to the Union. These are the only legal documents involved in the annexation of Texas by the United States- and it will be noted that neither says a word about a supposed right of Texas to secede from the Union. The alleged "annexation treaty" is entirely mythical.
The Court has also long held that mere speech cannot be treason, and that a "clear and present danger" of treasonous action must be present in order for mere words- whether written or spoken- to constitute incitement to treason. So at this point, the wackadoodles who are talking secession are merely making fools of themselves..
Knock it off, guys. You'd better spend your time organizing for Paul Ryan's run in 2016.