Nikki Haley, the Republican presidential candidate, asserted on Wednesday that Texas possesses the right to secede from the U.S. if its citizens opt for such a course—a contentious stance at odds with centuries of established history and precedent, as secession attempts have historically led to the infamous Civil War.
Haley expressed her viewpoint in an interview with the radio show “The Breakfast Club,” stating, “If Texas decides they want to do that, they can do that.” She emphasized that it would be the decision of the entire state, saying, “That’s their decision to make.” Despite acknowledging this hypothetical scenario, she added a dose of realism by stating, “Let’s talk about what’s reality. Texas isn’t going to secede.”
When questioned about her broader stance on states’ right to secede, a sentiment she previously expressed during her initial run for governor of South Carolina, Haley maintained that “states have the right to make the decisions that their people want to make.” She reiterated her belief in state’s rights, emphasizing the importance of decisions being made at the local level.
Notably, Haley’s campaign spokeswoman did not provide further clarification on Haley’s views.
These statements came amid a tense ongoing dispute between Texas’ state Republicans and the Biden administration concerning the Texas-Mexico border.
During Haley’s gubernatorial campaign in 2010, she was asked about her belief in states’ right to secede from the federal union. At that time, she responded, “I think that they do. I mean, the Constitution says that.”
However, it’s worth noting that in 1869, following the Civil War, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Texas v. White case, ruled that the United States constitutes “an indestructible union.” The majority opinion asserted, “…The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible states,” emphasizing the indissoluble relationship formed when Texas joined the United States.