Could the U.S. eject a state from the Union?

Inspired by the debate on Scottish independence, if a U.S. state kept passing hugely unconstitutional laws and generally being a massive nuisance and drain on the rest of the Union, are there any provisions to boot it out of the U.S? Could Congress just rescind its admission of the state?

This has probably been asked before but search-fu is not my strongpoint.

The issue is not addressed one way or the other.

Florida is just dangling there. It shouldn’t be too hard to cut off.

No. To do so would violate the 14th Amendment guarantee of “due process” and “equal protection.” You would be expelling U.S. citizens whose only “crime” was living in that state.

Although if we are taking nominations I’ve got a little list.

Wait until after the election. However it goes, there will be many states leaving voluntarily (the Civil War be damned).

But to answer your question: No. That would be revoking people’s citizenship, based on geography.

I always wanted to ask something similar but intended to put it more general: Is there any mechanism by which the US Federal government can intervene if a state becomes dysfunctional, i. e. they fail to organise elections, government agencies stop working, the judicial system breaks down because judges are not payed, the posts of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State are vacant etc. ?

The Feds could step in under the aforementioned 14th Amendment. Since the state is incapable or unwilling to provide equal protection, the Federal Government would then be obligated to do so.

But isn’t it true that the 14th Amendment specifically addresses the issue of state governments discriminating against some segments of the population (obviously African Americans, given the context)? Would it also apply if the state just doesn’t get it’s act together, with no ill intention?

Some states are already pretty close to bankruptcy, so maybe the day isn’t too far away when state officials and state employees just walk away because they are not paid anymore?

Consider Art. IV, Sec. 4: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.”

Things could get pretty bad inside a state, though, and Uncle Sam still might not intervene: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorr_rebellion

Another problem with expelling a state would be that it would be contrary to Art. V of the Constitution, which provides that “…no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

I don’t claim to know all the constitutional questions, but I second the post above to nominate Florida as the first to go, and I’ll add Texas to the list of prospects as well.

The proper, if boring, answer to all untested legal propositions is, “nobody knows.” Everything depends on the exact specifics of the case and no hypothetical can begin to address that.

Even trying to imagine the specifics of a world in which a state gets to that point is impossible. How could it happen? If you can’t answer the how down to the last detail, then you can’t answer the question.

And if you answered the question with a yes, then what? Would the U.S. want a completely dysfunctional independent nation sitting inside its boundaries? That’s madness. If you can imagine a situation in which the U.S. would do this, then you several steps beyond zombie apocalypse and the Constitution is no longer in force.

While having a US state becoming completely dysfunctional seems an unlikely scenario, something like this happening on the local level doesn’t seem too far-fetched: One could perhaps imagine the political system of a town or a county disintegrating to the point where the state has to intervene?

This will never happen. The federal government would instead use overwhelming force to make the state bend to its will. No way they would give up tax revenue like that.

So, what about a constitutional amendment, together with the state’s own consent?

Making it an amendment would get around the 14th amendment, right?

Interestingly, there is a case elsewhere of a country ejecting a State from itself - Singapore was ejected from the Malaysian Federation after a unanimous vote of the Malaysian Parliament.

I understand it wasn’t a popular move in Singapore…

Really? You may want to read up on what happened to the city of Rio Rico after it was transferred to Mexico by the Border Treaty of 1970.

But if they are expelled they would no longer be a state and no longer entitled to Senators.

This is easier, from a theoretical view, because towns and counties only have legal power that’s given to them by the state, so the state can clearly decide to take that legal power back or restrict it in some manner (as opposed to the state-federal relationship, where the states have their own legal power, independent of the federal government).
It’s also easier from a practical view, because it’s happened : states have many times taken over various towns’ functions (usually because of financial problems, but that’s a typical symptom of a disfunctional political system).

If, say, Florida didn’t want to be expelled, they would have to consent or would otherwise be unconstitutionally deprived of their senators.

I’d love to know what sort of scenario might convince a state to give up its Senate seats.

We could use Reconstruction as a precedent. If, say, California’s government disintegrated to the point where basic services were not being provided, then eventually the federal government would have to pass a law allowing the creation of some kind of “emergency government.” This would most likely involve tossing out the old state constitution and imposing a new one that removed whatever entrenched problems led to the collapse of the state government in the first place.

Fascinating. I had never learned of either of these things!