Desiderata for a Political Divorce

If we are to split the country in twain, we must first decide upon fundamental goals of the divorce. I perceive the following requirements:

1. Open borders
    The borders between the two countries must remain completely open to travel. This is necessary for economic reasons; many American businesses have suppliers and customers scattered around the country; barriers to free movement of goods, services, and people would hurt all these businesses and cause the economy to collapse.

2. Continuity of statutory law, case law, and regulations
   In the last 230 years, a huge structure of law has been erected. We have laws addressing a huge range of social situations. We cannot afford to throw away the entire structure and build a new one from scratch. Instead, we must insure that each of the two countries begins with exactly the same legal structures, and then proceeds to amend that structure. 

3. Equitable division of assets
   The assets of the Federal government must be split among the two new nations in an equitable manner. Some asymmetries are unavoidable. This will be one of the most difficult areas to negotiate.

4. Anticipation of possible flash points
    There will be plenty of situations that could cause conflict between the two new nations. For example, what happens when a citizen from A commits an act that is criminal according to B, while inside B’s territory? This would seem straightforward: as in all other international relations, the nation with jurisdiction over the location of the act applies its own laws, and other nations respect that jurisdiction. For example.