Last week’s Republican state convention in Houston produced a provocative platform worthy of Texas. One aspect that’s drawing much attention is the push for a secession referendum that asks the public to decide on statehood — in reverse.
Before anyone’s patriotism is called into question, recall the incredibly long list of leftists who threaten to head north to colder climates if this or that Republican wins an election.
Specifically, a section called “State Sovereignty” declares the federal government has interfered with local self-government. From there, the call goes out for acts from Washington D.C. that cross 10th Amendment rights of Texans to be nullified.
The 10th Amendment is referred to as the “reserved powers” amendment, and it grants powers to the state not specifically “reserved” in the Constitution for the federal government.
The GOP’s platform calls for the legislature to require a vote in next year’s general election on whether Texas “should reassert its status as an independent nation.”
Texas has a long and storied history of being “independent,” and talk of taking their own path again is nothing new. A remarkable 53% of state Republicans told surveyors in 2020 that they supported secession if Biden were to take the White House.
As any native will explain with or without being asked, the Republic of Texas gloriously lasted for nine years after independence was declared from Mexico in 1836. Entry into the U.S. came in 1845, only to see secession in 1861 over the Civil War.
Full re-entry to the U.S. took until 1870, but one year earlier a pivotal court case decided the issue of secession. In Texas v. White, which featured a lawsuit brought over U.S. bonds, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas remained a state even when it joined the Confederacy.
The court also ruled that individual states are not constitutionally allowed to unilaterally secede.