Why can't the counties that support the proposed state of Jefferson appeal directly to the federal government for statehood? California and Oregon will never say yes despite nearly all the counties supporting the split, so what options do they have?

  • "nearly all the counties supporting the split" seems widely optimistic, but I haven't read anything since the last election, perhaps you have a source.
    – user9389
    Dec 15, 2017 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US Constitution:

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

Any division of territory from previous states probably isn't going to work out barring something extraordinary like WV during the Civil War.

  • While legally correct, I think this misses the political point. It could be national pressure could make this acceptable despite the obvious local antipathy, and the current Republican administration might be willing to go to bat for a state that would almost certainly lean Republican.
    – user9389
    Dec 15, 2017 at 17:17
  • 1
    @notstoreboughtdirt what's the "political point"? The consent of the two states' legislatures is required even in the face of national pressure and even if the administration is willing to "go to bat." The answer is correct, period: there's no way for the federal government to create this state unilaterally. The only way to create it without the consent of the two states involved would be to amend the constitution, which would require the consent of 38 states' legislatures: an even less likely prospect.
    – phoog
    Dec 16, 2017 at 14:51
  • Could you please add a brief summary of what West Virginia's situation was that made it able to defy the constitution? Jan 18, 2018 at 4:09
  • 1
    @Thunderforge: They rebelled against Virginia while Virginia was in rebellion against USA and as a consequence had no representatives to object.
    – Joshua
    Apr 22, 2018 at 22:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .