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"New States and Federal Property" Explained

Article 4

In Section 3 of Article 4 of the Constitution, resides that of "new states and Federal property." There exist 2 clauses that specify that which has to do with the State as well as the colonies. This first clause specifies that any such State may have permission to garner admission into the Union as set forth by Congress with the foundation of United States law at its back. However, no one State may be created under the rule of another. In addition, no one State may be formed as a result of the combination of various states or portions of states without permission given by that of the State Legislature as well as Congress.


Despite the fact that the Constitution never maintained any specific rule as to the prescribed equality of newly included states, Congress does provide a clause that sets forth such statutes. As these states were not representative of the original colonies, they are seen to be entitled to some right to just and fair proceedings in connection to their inclusion.

An example of the Constitution keeping a safe distance from regulation of equality from one State to another is that which was shown during the presentation of a provision in relation to the State of Alabama. In reference to this case, the Court had struck down the aforementioned provision, in effect stating that the State of Alabama maintain its own individual "sovereignty as well as jurisdiction" over its lands. The Court reiterated that denial of such a State right meant that it would be held in an unequal position in relation to all others.

Doctrines of equality may also work against the favor of a State, however. This is demonstrated by the predicament that the State of Texas had fallen into. Due to its lack of control over a region of water prior to inception into the Union, it thus lost control altogether following it. Some relief was, however, given over to some states in the form of the "Submerged Lands Act of 1953." This Act returned certain portions of land to states, while still leaving others wanting.

Though not expressly stated within the United States Constitution, the Court stated in Texas v. White that it may allude to the "perpetuity and indissolubility of the Union". In specific terms, the Court holds that there is potential for such division, though strictly according to each State's legislative practices.

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