An attorney’s brother wrote the Supreme Court justices asking them for their opinion on state secession.
Antonin Scalia (a conservative justice) was kind enough to write back with an opinion:
I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. 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.”) Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit.
I am sure that poetic license can overcome all that — but you do not need legal advice for that. Good luck with your screenplay.
Now, I have to ask – what other possible response could you imagine getting from a Federal Supreme Court Justice?
That’s like asking the President if he feels the executive branch should be limited to only enforcing the laws enacted by congress.
Of course the answer will be – HELL NO!
How about asking the CEO of JP Morgan if banks should be held liable for bad loans?
How about asking the CEO of General Electric if corporations should only acquire profits from private buyers?
Come on, give me a break. Just a wee bit of conflict of interest here ya think? No federal judge is going to say states have a right to secede from the union.
Now if that same question was posed to state Supreme Court justices of a conservative bent, I suspect the answer might be somewhat different.
I think the answer is very telling about the nature of the federal justice system. There is a built in over-riding drive for self-preservation and retention of power. Much of our problems arise from this fundamental nature of man, something our founding fathers worked very hard to limit with the constitutional republic they created.
The republic is on its knees today, and justices like Scalia can not be counted on to save it.
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