The State of North Virginia?
by rich kolker, Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 05:17:40 AM EDT
Crazy idea of the morning.
Northern Virginia gets the short end of the stick from the rest of the state. We're used as a piggy bank for Richmond, who redistributes Northern Virginia tax dollars in a way such that we get less than a quarter of what we pay in back. This in spite of being some of the fastest growing areas in the COUNTRY, with the need to build schools, roads, mass transit, etc.
So why not secede from Virginia and become our own state, like West Virginia did?
Well, because it looks like the US Constitution won't let us. It says a state can only be split off from another state with the consent of the state legislature, and Richmond isn't going to give up its piggy bank voluntarily.
But that's not exactly what it says. What it says is: "no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress." Jurisdiction is an interesting word. It means "the power, right, or authority to interpret and apply the law : the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised."
Although the little dustup from 1861-65 kinda set the precedent that states cannot remove themselves from the jurisdiction of the United States, nothing in the Virginia Constitution or the US Constitution seems to prohibit a territory from removing itself from the Jurisdiction of a State government.
So, what Northern Virginia could do is remove itself from the State of Virginia (how to do this is left as an exercise for the student, but I'd use a referendum in the affected areas) and then once no longer under the jurisdiction of Virginia, apply to the Congress for admission as the 51st State, just as any other US Territory has the right to do.
Crazy idea? Yes. Impossible? Nothing's impossible, and although this would undoubtedly end up in the Supreme Court, I don't think unconstitutional.