Voters in Texas may be asked about their interest in leaving the union next spring thanks to a grassroots campaign led by a national secession group to secure enough public support.
The Texas Nationalist Movement received 102,000 signatures on its petition to add a referendum to the ballot in March. TNM wants to ask voters, “Should the State of Texas reassert its status as an independent nation?”
The TNM has lobbied for the TEXIT referendum during every legislative session since it was founded in 2005 and estimates that over 600,000 Texans support the movement for a “free and independent Texas.” Supporters of the effort needed to collect 97,709 signatures by Dec. 1 for the non-binding referendum question to appear on the ballot.
“The TNM understands the fundamental relationship between our unique culture and independence," states the organization. "We have been at the forefront of preserving, educating, celebrating and defending Texas history and culture. Click below to read more about work defending the Alamo."
In a letter, TNM President Daniel Miller asked the state Republican Executive Committee to vote in favor of the referendum appearing on next year’s ballot as such question could offer “necessary clariﬁcation and guidance on some of the greatest concerns of Republican voters.”
“All the ballot propositions placed before Republican voters have had their genesis in the concerns of rank-and-ﬁle Republican voters in communities all over Texas, including yours,” wrote Miller. “Their voices were raised. You heard them. And, to be sure that it was the will of Texas Republicans, you placed the question on the ballot and let all Republican voters sound off as to whether the issue was important to them.”
Placing the question on the ballot brings clarity. If, as our detractors say, this is a fringe issue that no one supports, then they should have no resistance to this question being asked of Republican voters. In fact, they should be some of its strongest supporters. If what they say is true, then the results will show that fact, and TEXIT will be a dead issue in the party for a generation.
Some may view the TEXIT question as divisive. However, acknowledging and providing a forum for the diverse views of party members is a testament to the party's values. By proposing this question for the ballot, you are not endorsing a speciﬁc outcome but advocating for the principle that all perspectives within the party deserve consideration.
… Achieving the legal requirements for the petition guarantees that Republican voters will be asked the question in March. We are here to work with the SREC to make it happen together. Just like you, we want the voice of Republican voters heard. Whether you are for, against, or undecided TEXIT, we should all be able to agree that the platform matters, the Texas Bill of Rights matters, and the Republican voters matter.
According to The New York Post, the "1868 Supreme Court case Texas v. White established that states cannot unilaterally secede from the union."
Still, there have been multiple previous efforts to separate Texas from the United States.
"In the 1990s, a group called the Republic of Texas argued that the state was never legally admitted into the United States and, thus, was still its own nation.," reports the Texas Tribune. "After splintering, the movement culminated in 1997 in a weeklong standoff between police and a secessionist leader who had taken a couple hostage in West Texas. The man, Richard McLaren, believed that Texas had been illegally annexed by the federal government. He remains in prison."