Delegates from Texas Boys’ State, a high-school program geared toward simulating the legislative process, voted to have the state secede from the United States. The students also crafted a new state constitution and a declaration of independence.
A news release from the group stated that the recent session was the first time in the organization’s history that delegates had successfully passed a resolution of secession.
Although this was the first time such a measure had passed, it was not the first time it was put to a vote. Last year, the Texas Boys’ State Senate passed a secession resolution by an overwhelming margin of 33-10, with two abstentions. The measure failed in the group’s analog to the Texas House by only four votes, 64-60, with abstentions.
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The resolution follows a popular sentiment among professional politicians across the state that Texas should leave the union. At their 2016 convention, delegates from the Texas Republican Party proposed adding language to the party platform that would advocate secession.
Secessionist movements have sprung up across the country, both before and after the Civil War. During the War of 1812, several New England states debated leaving the union, as the war cut into their trade revenues. As recently as this year, thousands of Californians were campaigning to have their state secede.
Despite these numerous secession movements, any attempt by a state to leave the Union unilaterally is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White (1869) that the union of the states was “perpetual” and that the relationship between Texas and the U.S. was “an indissoluble relation” with “no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.”