Sore Loser Republicans Are Calling for Secession
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in 2006 that “the answer is clear. 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.’)”
But despite a bloody Civil War and numerous Supreme Court rulings that have determined that secession is illegal and unconstitutional, some extremists within the GOP have reignited calls for their states to withdraw from the United States, following the Republican Party’s loss of control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House in the 2020 election.
Back in December, Texas Republican State Representative Kyle Biedermann, who represents Comal, Kendall, and Gillespie, argued in a Facebook post:
The federal government is out of control and does not represent the values of Texans. That is why I am committing to file legislation this session that will allow a referendum to give Texans a vote for the State of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation. This legislation perfectly aligns with Article 1 Section 2 of the Texas Constitution which reads: “All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their benefit. 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.
It was not well-received by Biedermann’s fellow Lone Star lawmakers. State Representative Jeff Leach (R-Plano, Allen, Richardson & Dallas in Collin County), roasted Biederman on Twitter for his “outrageous” and “seditious” proposal.
“This is a ridiculously outrageous waste of time and is not a serious legislative proposal. It’s a joke and should be treated as such. Yes, I have concerns for our Nation But I still believe in the promise of America — and the vast majority of Texans do too!” wrote Leach.
Based on what you’ve said the bill does, it seems like the most anti-American bill I’ve seen in my 4+ terms in the Texas House. It’s a disgrace to the Lone Star State. The very definition of seditious. A true embarrassment. And you should be ashamed of yourself for filing it. https://t.co/xQOqDi80qj
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) January 17, 2021
“Based on what you’ve said the bill does, it seems like the most anti-American bill I’ve seen in my 4+ terms in the Texas House,” Leach continued. “It’s a disgrace to the Lone Star State. The very definition of seditious. A true embarrassment. And you should be ashamed of yourself for filing it.”
This is a ridiculously outrageous waste of time and is not a serious legislative proposal. It’s a joke and should be treated as such. Yes, I have concerns for our Nation. But I still believe in the promise of America — and the vast majority of Texans do too! https://t.co/DC7I0WNE6l
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) January 17, 2021
Biedermann is not the only member of the Republican Party who would rather dissolve the Union than negotiate with Democrats.
Frank Eathorne, the chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party, said on last Wednesday’s broadcast of Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast that Western states are “paying attention” to fringe secessionist discussions in Texas:
We need to focus on the fundamentals. We are straight-talking, focused on the global scene, but we’re also focused at home. Many of these Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we’re keeping eyes on Texas too, and their consideration of possible secession. They have a different state constitution than we do as far as wording, but it’s something we’re all paying attention to.
Eathorne was particularly irked at Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th.
The episode was banned from YouTube for spreading misinformation about the election.
When Eathorne was approached by the Casper Star-Tribune for comment, he replied in a text message that “only a brief conversation with the Texas GOP in earlier work with them. Won’t come up again unless the grassroots brings it up.”
Chances are, they will not.
Matt Ford, a staff writer at The New Republic, pointed out on Friday that even if states were able to leave the Union – which past Supreme Court ruling have determined is unconstitutional – they would face a trifecta of social and economic challenges.
Would Texas use its own currency? It would have to create its own central bank and monetary policy if it did. Since Britain never adopted the euro, this is one major complication of leaving the EU that never came up. When Scotland weighed leaving the rest of the U.K. in 2014, Scottish independence leaders proposed that they would keep the pound sterling and maintain some sort of currency union with the rest of their former country. But London itself wasn’t keen on the idea, and the Scottish National Party now favors adopting the euro in a post-Brexit world. Texas could always take the route adopted by El Salvador and adopt the U.S. dollar outright as its currency. So much for national sovereignty if it did, though.
Freedom of movement:
Free movement would be another issue. It’s virtually impossible to denaturalize a U.S. citizen against their will, so most Texans would retain their American citizenship unless they voluntarily renounce it. And even though birthright citizenship would obviously not apply within a foreign country, the children of those U.S. citizens could still be eligible for citizenship under existing federal laws. Texas’s Republican leaders often brag about how its growth is fueled by businesses and residents leaving other states for lower taxes and lighter regulations. But that formula would invert itself after independence: Most of Texas’s population would easily be able to decamp back to the U.S., while residents of the other 49 states would have to go through some sort of immigration process to live in Texas.
And then there’s the problem of trade barriers. The Constitution forbids one state from imposing tariffs or taxes on goods from another state. It’s also virtually impossible for states to lawfully block Americans from entering or exiting them. (The current system of “travel restrictions” due to the pandemic is one of the only exceptions to that rule.) Indeed, the entire American economy is built around the free flow of goods and most services between California, Texas, New York, Florida, and everywhere in between. Without that freedom, Texas would have to negotiate some sort of Nafta-like deal between itself and the rest of the U.S. to carry out basic economic functions without significant difficulty.