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In 1839, former President John Quincy Adams defended the right of secession in a speech in New York, saying, “Far better will it be … to part in friendship with each other than to be held together by constraint.”

But according to — another liberal Web site that has explored the topic of secession — there are no provisions in U.S. law for a state or states to opt out of the Union, citing such authorities as Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School and Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School who say that since Appomattox “scholars have agreed that the Constitution grants no right of secession.”

While legal scholars say states cannot leave the Union, nothing stops individuals. Before the 2000 election, actor Alec Baldwin was one of several Hollywood figures who threatened to leave the country if Mr. Bush was elected — but didn’t.

“Unfortunately, there were no such pronouncements this time around,” said Martin Grove, a columnist for, “perhaps because the last time around, when push came to shove, all of these people decided maybe they were in the best place they could possibly be to begin with.”