As Americans vote for the next president of the United States, Texas Republicans will be meeting next month to decide if they should secede from the United States.
According to the Washington Post, there is almost zero chance Texans will actually vote in favor of seceding, but the fact that Texans are even mentioning secession suggests that the fringe movement has become a priority for some grass-roots conservatives.
“If the federal government continues to disregard the constitution and the sovereignty of the State of Texas, the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation,” one secession-related resolution read.
“It’s cropped up in a major way just in this last year,” Paul Simpson, chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County, said.
The last time Texas decided to break from the United Sates, it didn’t go well. In 1861, Texans voted to join the Confederacy during the Civil War. When the war was over and the Confederacy dissolved, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that states can’t secede unilaterally and any attempt to do so would be “absolutely null.”
The Texas Secession movement refused to die when independence was not achieved during the Civil War, however it has “ebbed and flowed” since. Modern secessionist leader, Richard Lance McLaren, spurred up the movement again in the 1990s. McLaren took a more violent take on the movement and he is currently serving a 99-year prison sentence for kidnapping.
Despite renewed calls for Texas to become an independent state, the majority of Texas Republican leaders want nothing to do with the movement, stating it is an “unrealistic and constitutional” endeavor. Some even fear that by supporting secessionist legislation, it will “open them up to Democratic attacks” and could lead them to lose their elected seats.
Texas GOP leaders usually ignore the pesky secession movement, but in recent years they’ve been forced to deal with it.
From the Washington Post:
This fall, the group tried to get 75,000 signatures to get a secession-related resolution on March’s GOP primary ballot. It read: “If the federal government continues to disregard the constitution and the sovereignty of the State of Texas, the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”
In December, the state party took matters into its own hands and voted down the idea. The movement doesn’t even have “Republican” in its name, one state party official said. Another said he was “sorry we are even having the conversation.”
The Houstan Chronicle reports that there will be at least 10 Texas counties that support independence resolutions and are planning to bring them to the state convention. Party members will likely try to keep the vote as quiet and dispense with it as quickly as possible.
Officials said the measures won’t likely pass and it almost certainly won’t become part of the party’s official platform — in the near future.
Featured image: JD Lamb (Flickr)