A Texas State Representative has announced his intent to propose secession from the US through a referendum of Texans. The lines are drawn with a Supreme Court challenge in progress between Texas with six intervening states against four battleground states. Nineteen states support Texas and twenty oppose it with amicus briefs to the Supreme Court.
A #TEXIT, Much Like #BREXIT?
Rep. Biedermann wrote on Facebook: “Last night, I did an interview with Fox 7 News on the referendum I am going to file this session to give Texans a vote about becoming an independent Republic.” Check it out here.
In the interview with Austin Fox Affiliate Fox7 Biedermann described his bill for the #Texit Referendum ,
“First of all, this doesn’t mean that Texas will leave the union if this bill is passed. This is a referendum for the people of Texas to be able to make their voices heard, that whether they do or do not want to assert their authority to become a nation. And if that happens, if this passes, then the next step will happen. So it’s a step by step, very similar to what happened in Great Britain. When they had the people vote for Brexit, and then it took many years after that for the government to be able to work things out with the European Union. So it would be the same thing here with this bill.”
When asked about Texans’ response to his announcement Biedermann told Fox7,
“The people are fired up right now about having their voice being heard and feeling like they’re being left out for many, many years. And the things that are happening in the Federal Government, whether it be our 1st Amendment rights, our 2nd Amendment rights, the budget, the debt going out of sight. And the fact that we might even be looking at Texas being singled out about our oil and gas industry, we just can’t afford to stay silent.”
“Again, Legislators should be listening to the people and the people, the response I’ve gotten so far is just overwhelming. I never knew it would be this large. But we have known over the years that the momentum has been growing in the State of Texas by polls, and other ways that we can tell that people are more and more wanting this.”
“All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit,” that article reads. “The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.”
Is Secession Constitutional? SCOTUS Said “No” in 1868
Such a measure by Texas would tee up another Supreme Court battle and potentially a more dire variety of confrontation, as the Supreme Court Ruled in Texas V. White (1868). Only through the consent of the remaining 49 States of the Union or “revolution” could Texas possibly secede under the ruling.
“When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.”
The Setup for a Terrible Choice
Representative Biedermann argues for a Brexit-like dissolution of Texas’ statehood. However, while the ability of a member to leave the European Union was explicitly created in the EU charter as Article 50, no such provision exists within the US Constitution.
“This is about the first step and about having the discussion on what’s happening in our country and whether the values of the Federal Government are the same values that we have here in the State of Texas and I don’t think that’s true.” Biedermann said, but it is that very Federal Government who would have to choose to release Texas from the Union, an unlikely event which leaves only a terrible alternative.