Opinion: If the Texas Legislature acts on putting an independence referendum on the ballot, it wouldn't be legally valid

Euri Giles | Clareifi

The Texas Republican Party's new platform, approved over the weekend at their convention in Houston, in part calls for a referendum on Texas secession to be placed on the general election ballot. If passed, this would allow Texas voters to decide whether they want to secede from the United States. However, even if the Texas Legislature were to act on this proposal, it would not be legally valid.

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Texas and American flagPhoto by patrice6000 / shutterstock.com

Report of the Permanent 2022 Platform & Resolutions Committee

According to the Texas GOP report, regarding the issue of, "State Sovereignty: Pursuant to Article 1, Section 1, of the Texas Constitution, 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. Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto."

Not the first talk of secession.

According to an article in the Texas Tribune, "Secession and independence have been perennial themes throughout the history of Texas, which broke away from Mexico in 1836 and was an independent republic before it was annexed by the United States in 1845. As the United States was torn apart by divisions over whether slavery could expand into the nation’s western territories, Texas in 1861 voted to secede from the Union. In the ensuing Civil War, up to 750,000 people — more than 2 percent of all Americans — died. Following the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865, Texas was formally readmitted to the Union in 1870, during the Reconstruction Era”.

Despite talk of another secession, the law is clear that Texas may not leave the United States.

According to the article, one of the most compelling responses to why it would not be legally possible for Texas to secede was given by, "the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia". He stated, "If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, ‘one Nation, indivisible.’)”

Many historians believe that when the Confederacy surrendered at Appomattox in 1865, the idea of secession was forever defeated. The Union’s victory set a precedent that states could not legally secede.

Even before Texas formally rejoined the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that secession had never been legal, and that, even during the rebellion, Texas continued to be a state.

Even if the Texas Legislature acted on putting an independence referendum on the ballot, it wouldn't be legally valid.

The Texas GOP would be, "declaring the start of the second American Civil War".

While Texas seceding from the United States is highly unlikely, it is important to note what Texas would lose if they were to secede. Texas receives billions of dollars in federal funding each year, which helps pay for things like schools, roads, and health care. In addition, Texas has numerous military bases and facilities that contribute to the state's economy. Texas also benefits from being part of the United States when it comes to trade and commerce.

What do you think, Texas?

Should the Texas Legislature approve the issuance of an independence ballot, or should Texans vote for change of the current administration?

Let us hear your feedback, and comment below.

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content, politics, and news near you in Texas.

El Paso, TX
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