Short answer is no, but there are over 10 counties in the state that are trying to make it happen; which is far more than the 1 that was standing alone before.
When Texas Republicans assemble for their state convention next month, it’s possible they will debate whether Texas should secede from the United States.
There’s almost no chance Texas Republicans will actually vote in favor of seceding, mind you — not least because most of the party wants nothing to do with this — but the fact we’re even mentioning secession and the Texas GOP convention in the same sentence suggests that the once-fringe movement has become a priority for at least some conservative grass-roots Texans.
To be sure, that seems to be a relatively small group. The Texas secession movement says 22 out of the 270 county GOP conventions passed some kind of independence resolution this spring. A party official said he’d be “surprised if that were the case, and the Houston Chronicle was able to confirm only 10 counties. But 10 is a lot more than the one county that passed an independence resolution in 2012.
Texas Republicans say these independence resolutions are just a handful of tens of thousands various resolutions to be considered at their convention. But it does seem like the secession movement is growing, or at least organizing, and may have become become too big for party officials to ignore.
“It’s cropped up in a major way just in this last year,” Paul Simpson, chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County, told the Houston Chronicle.
Here’s a rundown of what you should know about it:
First, some history
Let’s boil down Texas history in two paragraphs:
In 1836, a scrappy Texas won its independence from Mexico in a bloody war (Remember the Alamo?). The newly minted Republic of Texas experimented with running itself as its own country before going broke and voting to join the United States.
In 1861, Texans voted to secede and join the Confederacy during the Civil War. When the war was over, the Supreme Court decided — in a case brought by none other than Texas — that states can’t secede unilaterally and any attempt to do so will be “absolutely null.”
Here’s what modern-day secessionism looks like
As Texas’s earlier history makes clear, a variant of the Texas secession movement has refused to die. It has ebbed and flowed in Texas for the 150 years since. The modern secession movement revved up again in the 1990s under a controversial leader, Richard Lance McLaren, who took a more violent tack to get his point across — including kidnapping. He is currently serving a 99-year prison sentence related to that incident.
The Texas Nationalist Movement took over from there and has advocated a more political approach. They’ve attempted to get language advocating for secession on GOP primary ballots, and every four years, they’ve tried to prod a skeptical and reluctant Texas Republican Party into debating secession at its state convention.
So what’s going to happen at the state party convention?
The Houston Chronicle’s Dylan Baddour wrote that the fact that at least 10 counties are coming to the state convention supporting independence resolutions makes it difficult for party leaders to sweep this under the rug. It’s possible there will be some kind of a vote on the floor.
But if it comes to that, party leaders will probably try to keep the vote as quiet and dispense with it as quickly as possible. It almost certainly won’t pass, and it almost certainly won’t become part of the party’s official platform.
Still, it’s impressive the secession movement has made it this far. Then again, it’s had 200-odd years to practice pitching this.