Retiring Texas Congressman Ron Paul (R) wrote on Monday that he felt secession is a “deeply American principle” in response to the petitions the White House has received from Americans from all 50 states asking to allow their states to secede from the union.
The White House has said it would respond to “We the people” petitions that receive at least 25,000 signatures in a month, and Texas is one of the states that has reached that mark.
Paul wrote that, while he would not hold his “breath on Texas actually seceding,” he believed “these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.”
“Keep in mind that the first and third paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplate the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical,” Paul wrote.
Paul also said “secession is a deeply American principle” because “this country was born through secession.”
“Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those ‘traitors’ became our country’s greatest patriots,” Paul wrote. “There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents. That is what our Revolutionary War was all about and today our own federal government is vastly overstepping its constitutional bounds with no signs of reform.”
Paul pointed to the upcoming battle between the federal government and states regarding marijuana and Obamacare to make the point and ask, “If the Feds refuse to accept that and continue to run roughshod over the people, at what point do we acknowledge that that is not freedom anymore?”
“In a free country, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed,” Paul wrote. Paul wrote that if “people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free.”
“The Federal government kept the Union together through violence and force in the Civil War, but did might really make right?,” Paul asked.
According to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, it did, and “there is no right to secede.”
In a letter addressing the matter, Scalia wrote:
To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one Nation, indivisible.”)