The Slatest

Texas GOP Chair Suggests Secession After Supreme Court Shoots Down Election Lawsuit

Allen West walks into Trump Tower on December 12, 2016 in New York City.
Allen West walks into Trump Tower on December 12, 2016 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The head of the Texas Republican Party threw what amounts to a tantrum after the Supreme Court decided to shoot down the effort by the state to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. Texas GOP chair Allen West issued a statement saying that “perhaps” it’s time for “law-abiding states to bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had called on the court to overturn the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, four states that were key to Biden’s victory. Attorneys general in 17 states and more than 100 Republican members of Congress backed the lawsuit that was shot down by the Supreme Court that said Texas doesn’t have the right to get involved in elections of other states.

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West made his anger clear shortly after the Supreme Court issued its brief order tossing out the lawsuit. The Supreme Court “has decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law,” West wrote. “This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable. This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic.” West went on to say that the “Texas GOP will always stand for the Constitution and for the rule of law even while others don’t.”

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Many were quick to criticize West for his suggestion as several pointed out that secession would, in fact, violate the Constitution. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who frequently criticizes Trump, called on the Texas GOP to “immediately retract” its statement, “apologize, and fire Allen West.” Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz from Hawaii said the statement showed how members of the Texas Republican Party “have lost their minds.”

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Even though some immediately decried the suggestion as crazy, the truth is talk of secession has been making the rounds in conservative circles recently. Earlier this week, Rush Limbaugh said the country is “trending toward secession” as he answered a caller’s question about whether conservatives will ever dominate U.S. culture again. “It can’t go on this way,” Limbaugh said, according to Media Matters. “There cannot be a peaceful coexistence of two completely different theories of life, theories of government, theories of how we manage our affairs. We can’t be in this dire a conflict without something giving somewhere along the way.” And in a Facebook post on Tuesday, a Texas state lawmaker said he planned to propose a referendum for the state to secede from the United States. “The federal government is out of control and does not represent the values of Texans,” State Rep. Kyle Biedermann wrote. “That is why I am committing to file legislation this session that will allow a referendum to give Texans a vote for the State of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation.”

President Donald Trump also joined the critics as he took to Twitter to blast the Supreme Court for its decision. “The Supreme Court really let us down,” he wrote late Friday night. He continued with the criticism Saturday morning. “This is a great and disgraceful miscarriage of justice,” Trump tweeted.

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