Can Illinois become a constitutional monarchy, at the citizens' request?

Facing the imminent prospect of our two most recent ex-governors being able to wave across the aisle at each other in prison, I think it’s time we consider ridding the Great State of Illinois of these gubernatorial plagues. Time and time again we find our governors in a bit of a legal pickle.

In light of the recent discussion that there doesn’t appear to be any constitutional issue with a state deciding to run itself in a parliamentary fashion, what would bar Illinois from convening a constitutional convention, dispensing of the Republic entirely, and styling itself a fully-blown constitutional monarchy?

What would legally stop the citizenry willingly proclaiming itself subjects of the late King Paul Simon (or Adlai Stevenson, or Lord Dearborn, etc.) and proclaiming the Kingdom of Illinois, fully styling its government after the UK and its constitutional monarchy?

Let’s say the citizenry found a willing monarch, with no deigns on power but to be the local equivalent of Queen Elizabeth II, and enthroned him/her in Springfield? And drew up a constitution legally codifying the monarchy, parliament, the whole deal, modeled exactly after the UK?

King Illinois, of course, has no desire to separate from the Union, but just to maintain the kind, benevolent Kingdom of Illinois within the heartland, proud neighbors of Wisconsin and Indiana etc. - a full, willing, legal participating state bound to the Union.

Who could legally stop this, if it was a collective movement in-state? Could the Feds step in and put a halt to things, without a suit filed? Could, say, Wisconsin sue Illinois for putting on “heirs”?

I’d think that would be unconstitutional:

How does “guarantee” equal “require of”? Perhaps it also could be interpreted as meaning the US itself will be a republic.

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Article IV of the Constitution guarantees to each state a republican form of government. A constitutional monarchy, however democratic, is clearly not republican. Illinois could not remain a part of the U.S. and become a constitutional monarchy.

Could it secede from the Union? Texas v. White says no, it cannot unilaterally. (Sardonic wits say that Texas v. White only confirmed what was previously decided in Grant v. Lee. :)) Could it secede with the blessing of the Federal government? Opinions are divided on this. What is the likelihood Congress would let it? Qwll, you see the slender man over there standing next to the woman in a religious habit? Those are the chances: Slim and Nun.

No, because it’s guaranteeing each state a republican form of government, not that the United States as a whole will be a republic. It’s saying, “Hey, Illinois, don’t worry. If some people try to make you subject to a king, we’ll stop them. We promise.”

How about Article I, Section 9: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.”

It may be a nitpick (or it may not) but there must be at least an argument that a “republican form of government” is not necessarily inconsistent with a monarchy.

In classic political theory, the point about a republic is not that the head of state/ head of government is directly or indirectly elected. The key point is that power lies with the citizenry, and that citizens have both a right and a duty to be engaged in public affairs, and to hold those who exercise power to account. Hence Venice could be ruled by a Doge and yet consider itself a Republic, and the Dutch Republic had, in effect, a hereditary Stadtholder.

Republicanism was inconsistent the reality of monarchy as practised in the 18th century, and with the claims made on behalf of monarchy at that time. Hence in the 18th century all republicans were anti-monarchists, and the two positions came to be identified with one another.

However a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch is bound to discharge his or her functions on the advice of elected and accountable officials is an entirely different matter. This seems to me at least in principle consistent with civic virtue, opposition to vested interests, the common good and the other political virtues which republicanism promoted.

And it is four of the last seven governors, not just two. Seriously, you guys ought to hire governors from out of state.

Section 10 (“No State shall…grant any Title of Nobility.”) would be more relevant, since it would be a state monarchy.

The problem you’re addressing is that corrupt, entrenched Illinois politicians are difficult to get rid of. A dynasty-long appointment to one and his heirs forever seems… counterintuitive.

But how would this be enforced in real life? The US Army? A federal law ordering a state government dissolved?

“In other news, the US Army advanced toward Springfield, Illinois today, where His Magesty, by the Grace of God, John, King of Illinois and Protector of the Gateway to the West, is holding tight. Federal troops captured Champain/Urbana today, where Illinois State Police, Champaign City Police, Champaign County Police, Urbana City Police, and loyal, armed citizens were holed up in various buildings on the UIUC campus. An intense firefight between US Special Forces and an Urbana City SWAT team left dozens on both sides dead. It is believed that several Illinois State Police cruisers and Paddy wagons escaped from the battle and were seen heading in the direction of Chicago.”

Luther v. Borden established that the courts will not consider whether or not a state government constitutes a republican form of government.