Many people, possibly even including recent Texas governors, think that Texas has a right to secede from the Union.

Does it, or does it not?

  • 2
    The US Constitution has no provision for states to leave the union, and a bitter and divisive war was fought over the question. I think it's safe to say the answer is "no, barring a constitutional amendment." What document or agreement supposedly confers such a right on Texas?
    – phoog
    Jun 29 '15 at 19:14
  • 1
    @phoog, I don't think your comment holds much water -- just because constitution doesn't have such a provision, is by no means an indication that secession is disallowed.
    – cnst
    Jun 29 '15 at 19:26
  • that was not the conclusion drawn by the supreme court in Texas v. White: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_v._White
    – phoog
    Jun 29 '15 at 19:28
  • @phoog, but, according to texassecede.com/faq.php#texvwhite, White does seem to contradict with the later decision by the President to admit Texas back into the Union.
    – cnst
    Jun 29 '15 at 19:44
  • 1
    Edited to reflect that this is about legal rights. Texas's practical right was settled on a battlefield, not in a courtroom.
    – cpast
    Jun 29 '15 at 20:06

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled in 1869 that states may not unilaterally secede. The state litigant in the case was Texas. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_v._White

  • well, apparently, as per texassecede.com/faq.php#texvwhite, the President of the United States has later admitted Texas back into the Union, which makes it contradict with the fact that it never left in the first place
    – cnst
    Jun 29 '15 at 19:43
  • 5
    @cnst that is a bit of spin. The actual act readmits Texas to "congressional representation" which does not necessarily imply that it had ceased to belong to the union -- only that it had ceased to be represented in congress. See tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/secession/30march1870.html.
    – phoog
    Jun 29 '15 at 20:01
  • 1
    Article 1 seems to imply (to this layman of law) that a state is inherently self-defined and does not need any another states' justification. Hence, if the State of Texas were to declare itself independent (and fulfill the criteria stated in said article), there'd be nothing the remainder of the USA could do about it, short of violating international law they have ratified themselves (not that they were above that...).
    – Raphael
    Oct 23 '15 at 5:47
  • 1
    @Raphael From Wikipedia: "Article 1 is qualified by Article 11 because it prohibits using military force to gain recognition of sovereignty." Therefore, the US can prevent unilateral secession by sending the army to the state attempting to secede. If the US chose not to do that, it would be allowing the secession, and the secession would no longer be unilateral.
    – phoog
    Oct 23 '15 at 23:33
  • 4
    @Raphael Other than for the reasons phoog described, under the Montevideo Convention, Texas is not "state"; the U.S. is.
    – kisspuska
    Jun 28 at 3:27

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