Why Texas Should Have the Legal Right to Secede From the Union

And so should every other state

J.C. Peters
4 min readDec 14, 2020
Texas flag map
Texas flag map. Source: Anon Moos based on image by Darwinek

Texas Republican Party Chair Allen West made waves Friday by floating the idea of secession after the Supreme Court threw out a Texas lawsuit aimed at overturning the results of the presidential election.

Commenting on the decision, West said: “Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the Constitution.”

The remark drew immediate rebuke from Democrats and some Republicans, who bristled that both the outcome of the Civil War and a Supreme Court decision from 1869 established that secession from the union was illegal.

Adam Kinzinger, Republican Rep. from Illinois and frequent Trump critic, for instance, said: “My guy Abraham Lincoln and the Union soldiers already told you no,” which, to be honest, sounds a lot like a mobster husband reminding his wife what happened the last time she told him she was filing for divorce.

In 2012, in response to a petition asking to grant Texas the right to secede from the Union, the White House responded similarly, saying that the Civil War “vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States.” I’m sure every dictator who ever suppressed an insurgence…

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J.C. Peters

Author of History That Changed the World (Odyssea Publishing, 2017). Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, on CNBC, The Hill, Quartz, and other media.