Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Was The Louisiana Purchase Unconstitutional? V

The second objection – that the United States could not create a new state (or states) from the Louisiana Purchase territory – strikes me as equally odd.

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 provides that "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union . . .." It contains a qualification, but that qualification relates to the creation of new states out of old ones: ". . . but 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."

Once again, it seems to me that the language is determinative. Nothing in the language would lead the ratifiers to think that new states could be created only out of the United States and their territory as they existed in 1787 - 89.

Nonetheless, in an attempt to spin this out a bit more, I look at a couple of other considerations in a future post or two.

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