Residents of eleven rural counties in northern Colorado are seeking to secede from Colorado and form their own state, North Colorado, according to the Huffington Post. The reason given is that, due to the small population of these counties they have no say in the state legislature, which, under Democratic control, has passed a number of bills that these residents find offensive. They include issues such as gun control; limiting perceived “animal cruelty” by ranchers and farmers; civil unions; expanded regulation of oil and gas exploration and increased renewable energy standards.
It’s sometimes tempting to say, “fine, we’ll just go play in another sandbox.” But is it feasible? Secession involves an incredibly long and complicated process.
1. Approval by the voters of each county.
2. Approval by the state legislature.
3. Approval by the governor.
4. Approval by both houses of Congress.
The last successful secession came during the Civil War when West Virginia split from Virginia for reasons similar to those given by the counties in Colorado. However, the existence of the Civil War may have diverted Virginia’s attention from the effort. In addition, the status of Virginia itself as a state in the union was in question, as Virginia was one of the states attempting to secede from the United States.