Texas GOP wants to vote on whether to secede from US

Texas Republicans want to hold a referendum on seceding from the United States, one of several extreme policy demands that delegates voted to adopt at the state party convention in Houston this weekend.

The GOP is calling for the state legislature to pass a bill that would require a vote at the state’s 2023 general election to determine whether Texas “should reassert its status as an independent nation”.

In a separate “State Sovereignty” section, the GOP stated: “The federal government has impaired our right of local self-government. Therefore, federally mandated legislation that infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified.”

Calls for Texas to secede from the United States crop up regularly among Republican politicians, and usually gather momentum “when a Democrat is occupying the White House”, according to The Texas Tribune.

But despite it now being the official policy of the largest political party in the state, the question of whether Texas can legally secede from the Republic was effectively settled by the Texas v White Supreme Court decision in 1869.

Texas declared itself independent from Mexico in 1836 and spent nine years as a separate nation before it was annexed by the US in 1845.

It seceded from the US in 1861 before becoming a state again in 1870 after the end of the Civil War.

The issue was ruled on by the Supreme Court again in 2006, when former Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.”

At the Texas GOP’s biennial convention held over three days last week, thousands of delegates also voted to reject the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and declare Joe Biden an illegitimate president.

The attendees called for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to be repealed, and for homosexuality to be declared “an abnormal lifestyle choice”.

“We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin,” it reads.

While the convention platforms do not carry any binding legal authority, they effectively serve as a mission statement and indicate policy priorities for the next two years.

Delegates also roundly booed Senator John Cornyn during a speech on Friday over his efforts to enact bipartisan gun control legislation.

Senator Ted Cruz was heckled at the conference as a “globalist” and for travelling to Cancun during a winter storm that left millions without power last winter.

And Rep Dan Crenshaw was accosted by far-right protesters who called him the slur “Eyepatch McCain”.

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