It should come as no surprise that Ron Paul, the departing Republican congressman from Texas, defends the idea of secession.
Wading into the divisive political debate this week with comments on his official House of Representatives website, Paul said, “While I wouldn’t hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.”
There are actually secession petitions for all 50 states. Texas has the most support with more than 115,000 signatures as of Nov. 20, according to Yahoo! News.
“Keep in mind that the first and third paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplate the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical,” Paul said on his website.
With or without Paul stirring the pot, what are the chances breaking up with the United States would win a legal challenge?
“No state, however frustrated some of its citizens may be with the present state of government in America, is going to be able to leave the Union and go its own way. That is one of the most firmly settled issues on the meaning of the Constitution,” Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston said.
In 1869, the Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Texas v. White, the only conjectural conduit to secession is a constitutional amendment. That position was affirmed in 2006 by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote, "If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede." Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one Nation, indivisible."
“Secession is a deeply un-American principle. It is a principle that posed the greatest existential threat to the United States of America and was vanquished by our greatest president. [...] The bloodiest war in the nation's history was fought over the question of secession and the side which tried to destroy the United States lost. That settles it,” Robert Schlesinger, managing editor for opinion at U.S. News & World Report, wrote.
Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, recently told Politico he did not believe his organization’s progress was solely about President Barack Obama winning re-election.
“This cake has been baking for a long time — it’s the Obama administration that put the candles on the cake and lit it for us,” he said.