State Politics

NC constitution’s ban on secession could be dropped under House bill

Confederate Memorial Day Service at Oakwood Cemetery

VIDEO: Area residents and Civil War reenactors hold the 11th annual Confederate Memorial Day Service at Raleigh's Oakwood Cemetery Saturday, May 7, 2016, honoring the valor and sacrifice of NC Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. Along with rifl
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VIDEO: Area residents and Civil War reenactors hold the 11th annual Confederate Memorial Day Service at Raleigh's Oakwood Cemetery Saturday, May 7, 2016, honoring the valor and sacrifice of NC Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. Along with rifl

A bill filed Tuesday by a trio of N.C. House Republicans seeks to drop a provision in the state constitution that prohibits secession.

Reps. Michael Speciale of New Bern, George Cleveland of Jacksonville and Larry Pittman of Concord are proposing a constitutional amendment that would give voters a chance to repeal Article I, Section 4 of the North Carolina constitution.

Here’s what that section says: “This State shall ever remain a member of the American Union; the people thereof are part of the American nation; there is no right on the part of this State to secede; and all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve this Union or to sever this Nation, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State.”

Voters would decide on the amendment in the November 2018 election.

It’s unclear if the measure has support from House leaders. Speciale, Cleveland and Pittman are some of the most conservative legislators in the House.

Speciale is the lead sponsor of several proposed constitutional amendments filed in the House on Tuesday. Another would repeal the constitutional requirement that voters be able to read.

A third would change the line that says a North Carolina citizen “owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States” by taking out the word “government.” And a fourth would repeal the section in the state constitution that allows the state to regulate the concealed carrying of weapons.

Reached Monday afternoon, Speciale declined to comment on any of the proposals.

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