The leftist temper tantrum which begun on Election night is continuing unabated in California, where children-in-adult-bodies have now filed a Ballot Initiative to set the stage for what they think can allow California to withdraw from the United States and become its own country. Sorry folks, that cannot take place. California cannot leave. The issue was decided in the 1860's by the Supreme Court.
Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) was a significant case argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The case involved a claim by the Reconstruction government of Texas that United States bonds owned by Texas since 1850 had been illegally sold by the Confederate state legislature during the American Civil War. The state filed suit directly with the United States Supreme Court, which, under the United States Constitution, retains original jurisdiction on certain cases in which a state is a party.
In accepting original jurisdiction, the court ruled that, legally speaking, Texas had remained a United States state ever since it first joined the Union, despite its joining the Confederate States of America and its being under military rule at the time of the decision in the case. In deciding the merits of the bond issue, the court further held that the Constitution did not permit states to unilaterally secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null."
The court's opinion (with five justices supporting and three dissenting) was delivered on April 12, 1869, by Chief Justice Salmon Chase, a former cabinet member under Abraham Lincoln. He first addressed a procedural issue raised in the original filings claiming that the state lacked the authority to even prosecute the case. Chase ruled that the approval of any one of the three governors on the original bill submitted to the court was sufficient to authorize the action.
Chase wrote that the original Union of the colonies had been made in reaction to some very real problems faced by the colonists. The first result of these circumstances was the creation of the Articles of Confederation which created a perpetual union between these states. The Constitution, when it was implemented, only strengthened and perfected this perpetual relationship. Chase wrote:
The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form and character and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these, the Union was solemnly declared to "be perpetual." And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained "to form a more perfect Union." It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?
After establishing the origin of the nation, Chase next addressed Texas' relationship to that Union. He rejected the notion that Texas had merely created a compact with the other states; rather, he said it had in fact incorporated itself into an already existing indissoluble political body. From the decision:
When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.
For these reasons, Texas had never been outside the Union and any state actions taken to declare secession or implement the Ordinance of Secession were null and void. The rights of the state itself, as well as the rights of Texans as citizens of the United States remained unimpaired. From the decision:
Considered therefore as transactions under the Constitution, the ordinance of secession, adopted by the convention and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, and all the acts of her legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance, were absolutely null. They were utterly without operation in law. The obligations of the State, as a member of the Union, and of every citizen of the State, as a citizen of the United States, remained perfect and unimpaired. It certainly follows that the State did not cease to be a State, nor her citizens to be citizens of the Union. If this were otherwise, the State must have become foreign, and her citizens foreigners. The war must have ceased to be a war for the suppression of rebellion, and must have become a war for conquest and subjugation.
However, the state's suspension of the prewar government did require the United States to put down the rebellion and reestablish the proper relationship between Texas and the federal government. These obligations were created by the Constitution in its grant of the power to suppress insurrections and the responsibility to insure for every state a republican form of government. From the decision:
The authority for the performance of the first had been found in the power to suppress insurrection and carry on war; for the performance of the second, authority was derived from the obligation of the United States to guarantee to every State in the Union a republican form of government. The latter, indeed, in the case of a rebellion which involves the government of a State and for the time excludes the National authority from its limits, seems to be a necessary complement to the former.
Having settled the jurisdiction issue, Chase moved on to the question of who owned title to the bonds. In previous circuit court cases Chase had recognized the validity of legislative decisions intended solely to maintain peace and order within southern society. He had recognized the validity of "marriage licenses, market transactions, and other day-to-day acts legally sanctioned by the Confederate state governments". However he clearly treated actions in furtherance of the war effort in a different light. From the decision:
It is not necessary to attempt any exact definitions within which the acts of such a State government must be treated as valid or invalid. It may be said, perhaps with sufficient accuracy, that acts necessary to peace and good order among citizens, such for example, as acts sanctioning and protecting marriage and the domestic relations, governing the course of descents, regulating the conveyance and transfer of property, real and personal, and providing remedies for injuries to person and estate, and other similar acts, which would be valid if emanating from a lawful government must be regarded in general as valid when proceeding from an actual, though unlawful, government, and that acts in furtherance or support of rebellion against the United States, or intended to defeat the just rights of citizens, and other acts of like nature, must, in general, be regarded as invalid and void.
Chase ruled that the state's relationship with White and Chiles "was therefore treasonable and void." Consequently, he ordered that the current state of Texas still retained ownership of the bonds and were entitled to either the return of the bonds or the payment of a cash equivalent from those parties who had successfully redeemed the bonds.
Fast forward to 2017 and the events taking place in California are an exercise in futility. California cannot leave the Union.
The only way California can leave is by rebellion - and that would utterly fail.