On March 6th, the 187th anniversary of the fall of The Alamo, State Representative Bryan Slaton from the 2nd House district filed the Texas Independence Referendum Act in the Texas House. Here’s what you need to know about the legislation that will give you a vote on Texas independence.
What Is The Texas Independence Referendum Act
The Texas Independence Referendum Act (House Bill 3596) is a piece of legislation that, when passed, would give Texans the opportunity to go to the polls in November of 2023 and vote on the question, “Should the State of Texas reassert its status as an independent nation?”
If a majority of Texas voters say “YES,” then a bicameral legislative committee would meet over the period of 1 year to craft a plan to carry out the will of the voters. While there is a substantial list of issues in the bill that they would consider, all of these issues fit into four categories: constitutional changes; statutory changes; international covenants, treaties and agreements; and negotiated issues with the Federal Government. This committee’s work would then be presented to the next legislature or, if necessary, a special session for consideration and implementation.
The bill has no costs associated with it, as the vote would be held during the already scheduled general election where constitutional amendments are on the ballot. The committee also has no additional costs associated with it, as interim committees are already a common occurrence in the Texas Legislature.
Why HB 3596 Is Important
The people of Texas have been very clear in increasing numbers over the past two decades that they are tired of federal overreach and believe the relationship between the states in the federal system is broken and unfixable. The response from Texas and the rest of the states has been relegated to tersely-worded resolutions and lawsuits that the federal government ignores. Whether it’s the border, debt, defense policy, economic imbalance, or the erosion of our liberties, the federal system is out of control.
There have been dozens of independence referendums around the world in the last 100 years. In fact, the number of fully sovereign independent nations in the world grew from a little over 50 at the end of the Second World War to 195 at the end of the 20th century. All of them chose self-government, and not a single one of them chose to give it up after they gained their independence.
The only way Texas can ever have an honest and frank discussion about our relationship with the federal system is to put a date-certain vote on the ballot. At that moment, the debate moves from an academic exercise to one that carries the weight of our destiny. Even those opposed to Texas withdrawing from the union should be willing to have the conversation, and the only way to do that is to give the people a vote on the issue.
Is The TEXIT Referendum Act Legal and Constitutional
Giving the people of Texas a say in how they are governed is 100% legal and constitutional. Article 1 Section 2 of the Texas Constitution states:
“All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.”
Contrary to the misinformation being spread by the opposition, there is no prohibition in the U.S. Constitution against having the vote. Article 1 Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution contains a list of every action forbidden to the States. Voting on independence is not on the list. Neither is withdrawing from the union. Therefore, under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it is a right reserved to the States and the people in those states.
Many in the opposition cite the U.S. Supreme Court case of Texas v White as a prohibition against a state leaving the union. Most do so without knowing a single thing about the case, including that Chief Justice Chase contradicted himself by citing two methods to withdraw from the union or that his entire decision was based on a tenuous connection between the voided Articles of Confederation and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. It’s his use of the Preamble that damned his decision to being overturned by Jacobson v Massachusetts when the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can derive no power or authority from the Preamble.
More than the legal and constitutional authority to have the vote and ultimately become an independent nation, we also have a duty. Article 1 Section 1 of the Texas Constitution states:
“Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States.”
Our current state constitution declares that when our right of local self-government is impaired, the Union is over. As a people, we have a duty to examine this issue and determine if our right of self-government has been restricted in any way in violation of the Constitution and our fundamental rights and sovereignty.
Dr. Matt Qvortrup, the world’s foremost authority on independence referendums, destroys Texas v White in less than three minutes.
Is The TEXIT Referendum Binding or Non-Binding
There has been much discussion about whether or not the TEXIT vote is binding or non-binding. The short answer is that it doesn’t matter.
The average voter turnout for independence referendums is 85%. With TEXIT support polling above 60%, the number of pro-TEXIT voters who will vote to see Texas become a nation again will be somewhere between 8.6 million and 9.2 million.
The total number of votes cast for Governor in the last general election was 8,102,908. That means more pro-TEXIT voters will vote for independence than for ALL candidates in any previous election. That is enough political muscle to see that the will of the people in the TEXIT vote is carried out to its fullest extent, as quickly as possible, and unseat ANY politician who stands in the way.
It doesn’t get more binding than that.
Who Is Backing TEXIT?
The Texas Independence Referendum Act filing didn’t come out of nowhere. In fact, it is one more step in a long process that began with the founding of the Texas Nationalist Movement in 2005.
Since that day, the TNM has worked to fulfill its mission of securing and protecting the political, cultural, and economic independence of the nation of Texas. Part of that mission has been to get and win a referendum on Texas independence.
As the organization grew to nearly a half-million declared supporters, the TEXIT discussion and the legislation that would make it a reality have become more prominent. Previously, State Representative James White attempted to file the bill, but the referendum language was stripped from the final version. In the 87th Legislature, State Representative Kyle Biedermann filed the bill, but it was denied a hearing by former State Representative and Chairman of the State Affairs Committee, Chris Paddie.
Since its last filing, Representative Paddie was driven from office, and the Republican Party of Texas added two planks to its platform calling for the TEXIT question to be put on the ballot (Planks 33 and 225). Those planks passed with almost 90% of the vote of the delegates at the convention.
It is clear that the people of Texas want to vote on TEXIT. It’s also more clear that a majority will vote for TEXIT when it goes on the ballot.
Why Are Some Elected Officials Opposed To Giving Us A Vote On TEXIT
Simply put, they know it will win if TEXIT goes on a ballot. Think about their logic. They say that no one believes that TEXIT is good for Texas. They say that only a tiny minority would vote for it. They could put it on the ballot and prove it if that’s the case. But instead, they want to prevent you from having your voice.
Not only does this show a complete disregard for the people they purport to represent, but it also violates their oath of office. Article 1 Section 2 of the Texas Constitution is very clear when it declares that the right of the people to make this decision is “inalienable,” much like our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and our right to keep and bear arms.
Standing in the way of the people of Texas and voting on self-government is a violation of our rights and should be treated as such. It’s fine that they are against TEXIT. However, it is unconscionable that they are against the fundamental right of the people to decide.
Why Is The Media Lying About TEXIT?
More than any other major issue, TEXIT, and the Texas Independence Referendum Act have been and will continue to be the victims of misinformation. Whether it’s unintentional misinformation or active disinformation, we all must do our part to combat them wherever possible.
The easiest way to do this is by using the section on our website dedicated to the facts about TEXIT. You can visit texitnow.org and get answers to the most common questions about TEXIT.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that TEXIT is not up for discussion right now. We are not working to promote TEXIT. We’re working to promote the passage of the Texas Independence Referendum Act, which will give Texans a vote on TEXIT. Do not put the cart before the horse. There will be plenty of time to debate the merits of TEXIT once we get the question on the ballot.
We also have to work to counter misinformation in the media. Too many media outlets and political pundits regurgitate the tired lies about Texas v White or the reliance of Texas on federal money. Many leave our decades of experience and knowledge out of the conversation entirely. When this happens, you must say something. Whether contacting the media outlets directly, commenting on articles, or rebutting them on social media, those supporting TEXIT must act swiftly to combat misinformation.
How You Can Help TEXIT
While the outcome of the Texas Independence Referendum Act is not entirely on your shoulders, your actions over the coming weeks can have a significant impact on whether or not it’s passed and whether or not you get a chance to vote on TEXIT in November.
Here are steps you can take that will make an impact.
Contact your State Representative and State Senator – You are their constituent, and they need to hear from you. Ask your State Representative to sign on to House Bill 3596 as a co-author. Ask your State Senator to Sponsor or Co-Sponsor a Senate companion bill to House Bill 3596. If they will not support your right to vote on TEXIT, then consider replacing them in the next election by running for office.
Become a TNM Volunteer – We need to reach as many Texas voters as possible in a short amount of time. One of the best ways is with an army of volunteers who are ready to connect with their fellow Texans and find those who already support TEXIT. Everyone can do something to help our efforts.
Make a donation – To get the TEXIT bill across the finish line, we are launching a major marketing campaign across the state to connect with voters and direct them to action in support of the legislation. Statewide marketing campaigns are expensive. Every dollar helps us reach more Texans who, like you, are ready to make TEXIT happen. Can we count on your help?