"Is there a right to secede from the Union, or did the Civil War settle that?
Enter a New York personal injury lawyer, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The lawyer, Eric Turkewitz, says his brother Dan, a screenwriter, put just such a question to all of the Supreme Court justices in 2006 -- he was working on an idea about Maine leaving the U.S.and a big showdown at the Supreme Court -- and Scalia responded. His answer was no:
"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.") 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."
States rights be damned.