Jon Carson, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement was saddled with this important response to petitions seeking the secession of a number states from the Union.
In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that’s a good thing. Free and open debate is what makes this country work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for the liberties we often take for granted.
But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart.
Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States “in order to form a more perfect union” through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot — a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it. As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address in 1861, “in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.” In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States.
Yeah, citing Lincoln will not play well to people from South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana who want to secede.
Hell, he even cited Texas v. White!
And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that “[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.”
H/T Justice Willett