Fringe Activist Group Forces Texas State GOP Convention to Consider Resolutions to Secede From Union

Twenty-two Texas Republican district and county conventions passed resolutions calling for a vote on secession, opening up a potentially embarrassing debate at the state GOP conference in May, the Houston Chronicle reports.

A party committee will consider the resolutions for debate on the floor of the state GOP convention in Dallas May 12-14. These resolutions represent a significant milestone for an otherwise marginalized movement in the Texas GOP, and a potential headache for the party establishment.

A pro-independence activist group based in the small city of Nederland, the Texas Nationalist Movement, said at least 22 of the hundreds of conventions passed secession items. Texas GOP chairman Tom Mechler told the Chronicle he "would be very surprised" if that many had indeed passed the conventions.

"I hadn't really heard of this in any organized way until this past year," said Paul Simpson, chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County. "It's cropped up in a major way just in this last year," he told the paper.

The Nationalist Movement led the push for a conversation on independence, and State Republican Executive Committee officials cited it as inspiration when they introduced a resolution for a vote in December. That resolution was voted down overwhelmingly.

Mechler said the movement was not a Republican group. "Republican is not even in their name," Mechler said.

Last month in state district 11, a resolution passed urging a statewide vote on "whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation."

The Supreme Court ruled in 1869 that states do not have a right to secede. Pro-independence activists contend that the nation's laws are irrelevant once a state declares independence. 

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