Attempt to Secede From US Falls Short in State House

Small group of Libertarian Republicans wants a 'national divorce'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2022 6:40 PM CST
New Hampshire Lawmakers Reject Declaring Independence
New Hampshire House Clerk Paul Smith reads a resolution Thursday at the Capitol in Concord.   (AP Photo/Holly Ramer)

(Newser) – The nation will hold at 50 states for now, after New Hampshire legislators voted down a constitutional amendment calling for the state to secede. Lawmakers said it was the first secession vote held in any US legislature since the Civil War era, WMUR reports. The measure would have sent voters an addition to the state's constitution saying New Hampshire "peaceably declares independence from the United States and immediately proceeds as a sovereign nation," per the AP.

The vote to reject the measure, which was brought by libertarian Republicans, was 323-13. All 13 supportive votes came from Republicans; it needed the votes of three-fifths of the Legislature to go to voters. "This is not a fringe idea. #NationalDivorce trends on the internet," said GOP Rep. Matthew Santonastaso, adding, "National divorce is going to happen." Some of the sponsors had signed onto a document in 2020 calling the state government illegitimate and Gov. Chris Sununu a tyrant. Claiming fraud, they said the 2020 election was void.

Other Republicans said voting for the bill violated the oath of office, and some Democrats called the attempt treason. "It is beyond disgraceful, and it is a stain on the proud history of this state that we even have to entertain this," said Democratic Rep. Timothy Smith. Supporters of the amendment said they're not giving up. "This amendment reinforces Article VII of our Constitution, which declared New Hampshire to be forever a free, sovereign and independent state," said Republican Rep. Michael Sylvia. (Rush Limbaugh said secession was a possibility after the election.)

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