67 Ark. L. Rev. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/arklr67 and id is 1 raw text is: Bad Company?

Mark R. Killenbeck*
What are we to make of current calls for secession,
nullification, and/or interposition? For virtually all of us, the
instinctive reaction is to condemn them out of hand, given
the   company     they   keep.     Secession, after all, is the
handmaiden of slavery and civil war, a violation of the
bedrock principle that no State upon its own mere motion
can lawfully get out of the Union.' Nullification was
secession's evil precursor: South Carolina's strange position
that any one State may not only declare an act of Congress
void, but prohibit its execution.2
Interposition, in turn, was embraced on November 6,
1956, by some 185,374 citizens good and true when they
expressed their absolute certainty that We the People,
Arkansas Division, had the right and powers to
interpos[e our] sovereignty ... to the end of nullification of
these and all deliberate, palpable and dangerous
invasions . . . or encroachments.3 In particular, these
resolute individuals proclaimed their intent to take
appropriate action and pass laws opposing in every
Constitutional manner the Un-Constitutional desegregation
* Wylie H. Davis Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Arkansas School
of Law.
1. Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address (Mar. 4, 1861), in 6 A
(James D. Richardson ed., 1897). I am not certain how to characterize the fact that
Arkansas initially voted against secession, only to change its mind in the wake of Fort
Sumter. See Where the Rubber Meets the Road: A Dialogue, 67 ARK. L. REV. 113, 114
(2014). Rather, I worry about the balance between principle and opportunism implicit
in this fact.
2. Andrew Jackson, A Proclamation Respecting the Nullifying Laws of South
Carolina, 8 Stat. 771, 772 app. (Dec. 10, 1832).
3. ARK. CONST. amend. 44,  1 (repealed 1990). The vote tallies are available
at Historical Initiative & Referenda Election Results, ARK. SEC'Y STATE,
nts%201938-2012.pdf (last visited Mar. 17, 2014) [hereinafter Historical Results].

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