When the Wisconsin Republican Party holds its annual convention in a few weeks, delegates will be asked to vote on a resolution supporting Wisconsin’s right to secede from the union.
Top Republicans, insisting there are more practical issues to be concerned about, had hoped to kill the resolution but were unsuccessful earlier this month.
No state has the right to secede without the permission of Congress, but the resolutions proponents argue that the 10th Amendment conveys such a right.
“Efforts to secede are an effort to overthrow the Constitution of the U.S. and frankly, can be called a traitorous activity,” Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs, tells Wisconsin Public Radio.
“I know that sounds strong, and I know we’re supposed to be gentle about everybody having freedom of speech, and I realize that some people don’t take this seriously and they think this is something of a joke about some crackpot, radical right, sort of ‘flat-earther’ concept, but this is very serious,” he said Thursday.
Lee said the U.S. Constitution doesn’t permit secession, and that the only way to proceed toward such a maneuver is through a constitutional amendment that’s passed by Congress and ratified by the states.
According to Lee, a very small segment of the population believes that the federal government is illegitimate, unconstitutional and has stripped them of their liberties. Therefore, they feel like they have a right to take up arms against the government. It’s a concept, he said, that has broken out into the open in recent years and needs to be addressed seriously despite coming from the far fringe.
Lee says the resolution will be voted down when the delegates meet in Milwaukee, but he says the fact it exists at all shows a segment of the Wisconsin Republican Party has “gone over the edge.”