Disney actor and comedian Sarah Silverman recently endorsed secession on an episode of her The Sarah Silverman Podcast.

Ali Shaker/VOA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Wreck-It Ralph actress posted her endorsement to Twitter prefacing it saying, “Maybe we should break up.”

In the clip, Silverman states, “I mean this may be a negative thought, or maybe a positive one, I don’t know. But if people aren’t getting along like in relationship, they break up, you know?”

“So like, why don’t we just finally just realize that this, these states aren’t working and like, divide up into like two or three countries? It’ll be like USA 1 and USA 2,” she asserted.

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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The comedian further stated, “And they can be USA 1. Like the conservatives can be USA 1 because they love being number one and it means something to them and I’d love to have that be theirs. They can be USA 1. We’ll be USA 2 and we’ll be allies.”

“And you’ll come over here and we’ll go over there, and you know, when you come to certain… Many times, when you go to a different country, you have to get a vaccine. That’s that.”

Silverman concluded the clip, “By the end of the question, by the end of my answer, I have no idea what the question was. I don’t think I’m anywhere near it.”

Ali Shaker/VOA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Secession has been tried in the past, the first state to secede was South Carolina back in 1861. South Carolina would be joined by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

These 7 states would eventually form the Confederate States of America. By April 1861, the Civil War began with South Carolina attacking Fort Sumter. Following the attack on Fort Sumter, four more states joined the Confederacy. They included Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Currier & Ives. Uploaded by Christophe cagé 12:52, 6 September 2006 (UTC), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has also noted that “there is no right to secede.”

In a letter addressed to a screenwriter asking for tips on his screenplay about Maine seceding from the Union, Scalia wrote, “I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, ‘one Nation, indivisible.’)”

He continued, “Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit.”

United States Mission Geneva, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

While Scalia believes there is no right to secession, others like Dr. Brion McLanahan have argued in favor of secession. In an article in The American Conservative back in 2012, McClanahan states, “Secession and interposition—nullification—are healthy discussions to have in a federal republic. There mere threat can, and has, spurred the central government to reform.”

However, he also noted, “The American people are not ready for secession. The states, the economy, and the people are too dependent on the central authority. If nothing else, Hamiltonianism has accomplished slavish loyalty to the system.”

Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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More recently in December 2020, McClanahan noted that “We are in a big mess, and Americans are starting the rethink the value of Union, just as the proponents of the Constitution had to persuade a large number of Americans that maintaining the Union was important in 1787 and 1788.”

However, he asserted, “Perhaps State secession may not be the answer. Even States are too big. We might need to think smaller. This is why I have been hammering think locally, act locally for over four years. Trump couldn’t fix Washington. No one can. That is the point.”

He goes on to advocate for getting involved in local politics, “You know what you can change? Your local school board. Your city council. Your HOA. Those things matter in our daily lives. We all want lower taxes. We all want to be left alone.”

various, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

What do you make of Silverman’s endorsement of secession? Do you agree with her?