How to Legally Secede from the Union

A number of people have been suggesting that blue states such as California, Oregon, Washington, New York, etc. should secede from the Union. This is, of course, illegal without the approval of at least two thirds of the other states. However, there is a way to obtain that approval. The core tactic is copied from Republican tactics for eliminating abortion.

California will have to take the lead here, because it is the only state with the economic muscle to pull this off. It produces 14% of US gross domestic product and the bulk of certain key products. This gives California considerable economic leverage. 

Under this plan, California would first introduce an amendment to the Constitution permitting states to secede from the Union with a 2/3 vote of their internal populations. This amendment would specify that all existing relationships, including payment of taxes, would remain unchanged until such time as a treaty between California’s new government and the Federal government is concluded. Such a treaty would specify a division of Federal assets based on the presumption of equal per capita ownership of such assets by the current population of the United States. 

 It would then communicate the following message to all members of Congress, the President, and the governors of the other states:

If you do not pass this amendment forthwith, California will enact the following regulations:

1. We will require all airports in the state to stengthen all their structures to be able to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 9.6. No airport will be allowed to operate until California state inspectors confirm that all building on airport property meet the new earthquake standards.

2. Agricultural inspection stations at the road entrances to the state will be required to inspect every nook and cranny of every vehicle entering the state for illegal biological immigrants. 

3. All medical supplies departing the state must satisfy stringent new health and safety requirements. The state will appoint the inspectors for this regulation after appropriately thorough legislative analysis. No medical supplies may leave the state until they have passed inspection.

4. Exporters of petroleum products will be required to satisfy strict new health and safety regulation before they can export such products. 

5. Exporters of agricultural products will be required to satisfy strict new health and safety regulation before they can export such products.

6. The state will provide emergency financial relief to industries and workers through an emergency “Freedom Tax” increment to the state income tax.

If you do pass this amendment, then California will revoke these regulations, revert to prior relatioships with other states, invite other states to join it in a Constitutional Convention for a new federation, after which it will negotiate its new relationship with the Federal government.

This is only a first draft; I am sure that I have overlooked some crucial details. I nevertheless believe that this concept can be fleshed out to something workable. Such a document would undoubtedly be hundreds of pages long. Constructive criticisms are solicited; use the contact form above.