Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is currently running for the Republican Party presidential nomination against former President Donald Trump, tried to walk back some comments made a week ago when she made the suggestion that the state of Texas could secede from the Union if they wanted to. There are a lot of varying opinions on this particular topic, not just about if it’s possible, but what reasons would justify taking such a drastic course of action.
The comments in question were made by Haley during an interview with The Breakfast Club on Wednesday, where the former United Nations Ambassador said, “if Texas decides they want to do that, they can do that.”
“If that whole state says, ‘We don’t want to be part of America anymore,’ I mean, that’s their decision to make,” she added, going on to say: “Let’s talk about what’s reality. Texas isn’t going to secede.”
Before we go on to look at Haley’s attempt to do some damage control concerning this issue, let’s take a look at whether or not Texas can constitutionally secede from the United States.
This is one of the questions of the day, and it appears to be no longer a mere abstract or theoretical question. The Constitution makes no provision for secession. A Government is not a corporation whose existence is limited by a fixed period of time, nor does it provide a means for its own dissolution. The Constitution of the United States provides that it may be amended, and prescribes how this may be done, but it does not, as it exists now, contemplate its own destruction, nor a dissolution of the Government of which it is the living evidence. Constitutionally, there can be no such thing as secession of a State from the Union.
But it does not follow that because a State cannot secede constitutionally, it is obliged under all circumstances to remain in the Union. There is a natural right, which is reserved by all men, and which cannot be given to any Government, and no Government can take it away. It is the natural right of a people to form a Government for their mutual protection, for the promotion of their mutual welfare, and for such other purposes as they may deem most conducive to their mutual happiness and prosperity; but if for any cause the Government so formed should become inimical to the rights and interests of the people, instead of affording protection to their persons and property, and securing the happiness and prosperity, to attain which it was established, it is the natural right of the people to change the Government regardless of Constitutions. For be it borne in mind, the Constitution is an agreement made among the people that the Government formed by it is to be just such a Government as it prescribes; that when it recognizes a right to exist, it must protect the person in the enjoyment of that right, and when it imposes a reciprocal duty upon a portion of the people, the performance of that duty it will have enforced. When a government fails in any of these essential respects, it is not the Government the people intended it to be, and it is their right to modify or abolish it.
So, if the rights of the people of the United States as recognized by the Constitution, are not secured to them by the Government, and the people of any State have no other means to redress their grievances except by separating themselves from their oppressors, it is their undoubted natural right to do so.
During an interview on CNN with host Dana Bash on an episode of “State of the Union,” Haley attempted to walk back her statements when she was asked if she really believes “individual states have the right to leave the USA.”
“No one is talking about seceding. That’s not an issue at all,” she replied. “What we are talking about the fact is, here you have Governor Abbott and the people of Texas, who just want to be kept safe. They’re putting up barbed wire to keep people coming in. And the idea that the federal government is wanting to sue them and cut that barbed wire, when we’re trying to make sure that we keep people out, that’s a huge mistake.”
“You want to be president of the United States. Do you think that any state has a right to secede?” Bash continued to press.
“No. According to the Constitution, they can’t,” Haley responded. “What I do think they have the right to do is have the power to protect themselves and do all that. Texas has talked about seceding for a long time. The Constitution doesn’t allow for that. But what I will say is, where’s that coming from? That’s coming from the fact that people don’t think that government is listening to them.”
Pretty decent save on her part. She’s got a point. The main reason so many in Texas are ready to form their own government apart from the U.S. is because no one is hearing them. The border crisis still remains a massive problem. The government is often too involved in the wrong parts of governing, while ignoring issues. The best way to quell talk of secession is by providing solutions for the challenges residents are dealing with.
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