At the Texas Republican convention held in Houston this month, the Texas GOP announced their new party platform, spurring censure from those who argue that it's too radical.
One measure that many Democrats have inveighed against is the Texas GOP's proposal to potentially "secede from the union."
The newly introduced party platform contains a section called "State Sovereignty," which states the following:
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.
A later part of the platform demands "a referendum in the 2023 general election for the people of Texas to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation."
The Texas GOP's vision of an independent Texas has a parallel in the annals of the state's history -- Texas was an independent nation for nine years after it achieved independence from Mexico in 1836. It seceded again between 1861 and 1870 in response to the Civil War.
However, a modern secession would not be considered legitimate under the aegis of the Constitution because of a landmark 1869 Supreme Court ruling in Texas v. White concluding that states cannot unilaterally secede from the nation.
Acolytes of the secessionist cause call it the "Texas Nationalist Movement," and they claim to be half a million strong. Others have dubbed the enterprise "Texit," alluding to Britain's sundering from the European Union.
These secessionist endeavors have drawn opprobrium within the Republican party as well. For instance, Representative Jeff Leach castigated the secessionist measure as "seditious."
Notably, the new Texas GOP platform also asserts that the US should leave the United Nations and that educational curricula should emphasize "understanding why Texas and America are exceptional and have positively contributed to our world, and while doing so, also offer enrichment subjects that bless students' lives."