I read somewhere that a bill of statehood is the only bill congress can pass but cannot repeal. Is this true, and if so is there a specific law that says this?
There is a large movement in Hawaii that would be very interested in the answer to this question.
I think the Hawaii thing is not about secession but about indepence for the natives, granting them tribal status
Art IV, Sec 3 of the US Constitution provides:
Congress may admit a state, but once admitted, the existence of the state and its boundries may not be changed except by consent of Congress and that state’s legislature.
The formation and admission of West Virginia had a bit of a smell about it.
The US divided the State of Virginia and formed West Virginia in 1863 without the consent of the Virginia legislature on the grounds, I believe, that VIrginia wasn’t part of the US because of secession. At the same time the US was fighting a war to prove that secession was illegal.
I don’t think the Union ever legally accepted the fact that the Southern States weren’t a part of the US. That’s sort of what they were fighting about.
I’m no expert, but I’d be interested to see some cites or links to other SDMBGQ threads.
What happened was, in 1861, the United States controlled most of northwest Virginia, and Unionist Virginians in the area controlled by the US met in Wheeling, where they elected a governor, senators and congressmen, calling themselves the “Restored Government of Virginia”. Washington then recognized them as the legitimate government. Later that year, the counties that made up the “Restored Government” voted to form a new state. The Restored Government, as the legitimate government of Virginia, then gave its consent in 1862. In 1863, West Virginia got its statehood, and the Restored Government moved its capital from Wheeling to Alexandria.
Here’s the full story, from the West Virginia History Center.
I remember a quote from a speech from a recent Republican governor of Virginia, where he referred to West Virginia as “The counties that call themselves West Virginia”. Has Virginia still not recognized WV as a separate state?
Yeah, that would be a good idea. Since all the U.S. states are equal in the eyes of the Federal Government, this would not be a good idea by the governor of Virginia.
If the governor of Virginia doesn’t want to truly recognize the state of West Virginia, I will go to Virginia, commit a crime, drive to West Virginia and dare them to extradite me.
I’ve been wondering something related to this. Can Congress effectively dissolve a state government? Seems to me the language of the reconstruction acts did this, declaring that no legal state governments existed in the various Southern states, and that representatives to Congress from these states would not be admitted until certain conditions were met.
Could such a thing happen under normal circumstances, or was that only possible because the South was placed under military control, which in turn was justified by the “rebellion”?
Article IV, Section 4 guarantees each state a republican form of government. I suppose if a governor used the state militia to arrest the legislators and set himself, or herself, up as permanent governor the federal government could step in and stop it.
Following the Civil War, the Union ruled the seceding states through military governments – first operating under direct Presidential authority, later under the Reconstruction Act of 1867 – which slowly organized civilian governments who held power at the occupying forces’ sufferance. Congress denied seats to senators and representatives from those states until they had complied with certain conditions – such as ratification of the 14th amendment – and been formally readmitted to statehood under the Reconstruction Act. Congress eventually did readmit each seceding state. From Eric Foner, A Short History of Reconstruction (1990):