In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court unceremoniously dumping the Trump-backed Texas lawsuit aiming to overturn the election results in key battleground states, the Republican Party in the Lone Star State has responded by floating the notion that it could possibly secede from the United States of America.
The Texas lawsuit, spearheaded by state Attorney General Ken Paxton, sought to drag Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to court for altering their election laws prior to Election Day, which Texas argued violated those states’ own laws. The lawsuit garnered significant support among some conservatives, with multiple red states’ attorneys general and well over Republicans in the U.S. House backing the effort despite many admitting that the strategy would fail.
On Friday afternoon, the Supreme Court said that it would not even consider the lawsuit, which was riddled with a number of legal and factual shortcomings.
In response to the SCOTUS decision, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West ripped into the conservative-held Supreme Court for failing to entertain the case, accusing them of “establish[ing] a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable.”
The statement went on to suggest that perhaps the time had come for some states to simply form their own union, separate and apart from the U.S.
“This decision will have far reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution,” read the statement, which was printed on the official letterhead of the Texas Republican Party.
While the idea may seem like it comes from the fringes of the party’s right wing, West isn’t the only Republican official in Texas to float such a notion.
On Tuesday, State Rep. Kyle Biedermann, who has represented the greater San Antonio area since 2017, posted a Facebook status announcing that he planned to propose a referendum that would see the state form its own “independent nation.”
“The federal government is out of control and does not represent the values of Texans,” Biedermann wrote.
“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,” he added, attaching the hashtag #Texit.
The Texas secession movement gained some popularity in 2016 after some U.S. conservatives cheered on the United Kingdom’s referendum to exit the European Union, commonly known as Brexit.
In a Thursday interview with local Fox 7, Biedermann compared his proposal to Brexit.
“The things that are happening in the federal government, whether it be our First Amendment rights, our Second Amendment rights, the budget and the debt going out of sight,” Biedermann said. “And then 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.”
The idea of Texas seceding from the United States has been a recurring theme for some time in Texas, dating back to the 19th century. However, when push came to shove, such efforts haven’t historically fared well.
In 1861, Texas broke off from the country briefly to join the Confederate States of America. Following the defeat of the CSA in the American Civil War, the Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White that no state had the legal grounds to secede from the union.
The statement by Republican Party Chairman West comes as an apparent reversal of his previous statements, where he signaled that he wouldn’t support a move to break away from the federal government.
“America needs Texas to lead, not secede,” West told Business Insider in a statement for an article published earlier Friday.
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