Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin makes sense of the recent secession petitions to go up online at the White House’s We the People Petition web site. Besides a critical look at the data, Somin discusses the realities of what a state would face if it seceded:
Even setting aside the possibility of the federal government using force to suppress a secession movement, any serious effort at secession would run into significant problems. A state that chooses to secede would have to negotiate with the US as to the percentage of the national debt it would take on. It would have to deal with the problem of federal facilities on its territory, such as the numerous military bases in Texas. The US and the seceding state would have to negotiate some kind of free trade agreement, or risk serious economic harm. And what about the residents of that state who are collecting entitlement payments from Washington for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security? These problems may not be insoluble, addressing them would be difficult and in some cases costly. I doubt that very many of the 22% who say they support secession are really willing to pay the substantial transition costs of forming an independent nation.
That any state, in this day, would ever secede, seems absurd.
(Kudos on the existence of the Austin petition go to: Kevin)