Can Texas Secede from the Union? No.

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Austin American Statesman reporter Ken Herman asked Gov. Rick Perry on tape if a date had been set yet for Texas to secede from the Union, per his comments from yesterday.

“There's a lot of different scenarios. We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot.”

Well, regardless of how Rick Perry feels, and the fact that we fought a war back in the 1800's that kind of settled the issue, and the fact that a 5-3 Supreme Court decision kind of settled the issue, well, you get the point.

AAS: Between the Texas Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and the Joint Resolution Annexing Texas to the United States of 1845, there is no explicit right for the state to return to its days as a Republic, said Sanford Levinson, a professor at the School of Law at University of Texas-Austin.

“We actually fought a war over this issue, and there is no possibility whatsoever that the United States or any court would recognize a “right” to secede,” Levinson wrote in an e-mail.

But if you are curious, here is the vote tally of the people of Texas in the public referendum for being Annexed into the United States in 1845. And below, is part of the Ordinance of Annexation passed July 4th, 1845 by the Texas Convention. Emphasis mine.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress doth consent that the territory properly included within and rightfully belonging to the Republic of Texas, may be erected into a new State to be called the State of Texas, with a republican form of government adopted by the people of said Republic, by deputies in convention assembled, with the consent of the existing Government in order that the same may by admitted as one of the States of this Union.

2nd. And be it further resolved, That the foregoing consent of Congress is given upon the following conditions, to wit: First, said state to be formed, subject to the adjustment by this government of all questions of boundary that may arise with other government, –and the Constitution thereof, with the proper evidence of its adoption by the people of said Republic of Texas, shall be transmitted to the President of the United States, to be laid before Congress for its final action on, or before the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and forty-six. Second, said state when admitted into the Union, after ceding to the United States all public edifices, fortifications, barracks, ports and harbors, navy and navy yards, docks, magazines and armaments, and all other means pertaining to the public defense, belonging to the said Republic of Texas, shall retain funds, debts, taxes and dues of every kind which may belong to, or be due and owing to the said Republic; and shall also retain all the vacant and unappropriated lands lying within its limits, to be applied to the payment of the debts and liabilities of said Republic of Texas, and the residue of said lands, after discharging said debts and liabilities, to be disposed of as said State may direct; but in no event are said debts and liabilities to become a charge upon the Government of the United States. Third — New States of convenient size not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas and having sufficient population, may, hereafter by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution; and such states as may be formed out of the territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri Compromise Line, shall be admitted into the Union, with or without slavery, as the people of each State, asking admission shall desire; and in such State or States as shall be formed out of said territory, north of said Missouri compromise Line, slavery, or involuntary servitude (except for crime) shall be prohibited.”

Yes, Texas could be drawn and quartered to become 5 total states within the Union. But Texas as a state, nor any of those subdivided states may secede from the Union.  


About Author

Former Publisher & Owner of the Burnt Orange Report. Political Thinker, Digital Explorer, and Time Traveler.


  1. Options, baby! For
    For as completely impractical and unlikely the decision to secede would be, I always liked to tell my northern friends we could back out of this “Union” deal whenever we wanted to!

  2. Civil war, anybody
    It seems mind-boggling that 144 years after the end of the Civil War we're still talking about secession. But this isn't the first step that Perry and the Texas GOP have taken in this direction.

    Remember in 2003 when the Texas Pledge was added to the public school day? “I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.”  (Never mind that it is divisible into as many as five states.) At the time, I complained that this was meaningless, akin to promising to take up arms in case of war with North Dakota.

    By the way, the only states that have pledges are Texas, Georgia and Arkansas.  Somebody is still fighting the Civil War.  

    Last session, the pledge was changed to read “one state, under God”, in parallel to the national pledge. More that ever, loyalty to Texas is supposed to replace loyalty to the (indivisible!) United States.

    How ridiculous can you get?

  3. Texas–A Laughing Stock?
    I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but Texas is already a laughing stock, with huge boosts from Governor Rick and the State Board of Education et al. The guffaws are not limited to liberal media, Blue States and Democrats, alas.

    The Independence crowd like to claim that Texas was the only sovereign entity to enter the Union. Actually, that honor goes to Vermont, which was independent and had trouble interesting our government and that of England (Canada) in acquiring it. It entered the Union during March of 1791 an event that was celebrated in—Vermont.

    • hold your horses
      you can say anything you want about perry or the sboe.

      you can even give history lessons.

      but you can't call Texas a laughing stock.

      you should take of your shoe and hit yourself in the face with it for that remark.

      • actually
        others will call us a laughing stock us whether we like it or not if the likes of Rick Perry and the SBOE in our state are acting like morons.

  4. Can Texas still split into 5 States?
    As for Texas splitting into 5 states, I don't think that would still be an option. Due to the Comprise of 1850 which split off parts of Texas into todays boundries. Some went to form parts of New Mexico, Colorado,Kansas & Oklahoma in order to settle claims by other groups. As part of this settlement Texas got compensation of $10 million.

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