ADDISON SMITH (HOST): Meanwhile, in the latest episode of Don't Mess With Texas, Brian Slaten has just filed HB 3596, aka the Texas Independence Referendum Act, or TEXIT, for short. This bill would place a referendum on the ballot during the next general election, allowing Texans to cast a vote on whether or not the state should investigate becoming an independent nation. The Texas exit from America. This comes off the heels of national divorce conversation spurred by Americans who are exhausted by the political and cultural attacks waged on our youth, on truth, and human decency, and our Constitution itself. Can't blame them.
DANIEL MILLER (PRESIDENT, TEXAS NATIONALIST MOVEMENT): Well, look, I've been advocating for the independence of Texas since 1996. It made sense then. It makes even more sense now. And it's simply this. Texans are sick and tired of living under 180, 180,000 pages of federal laws, rules, and regulations administered by two and a half million unelected federal bureaucrats. We're tired of watching the federal government intentionally collapse our southern border, put our children into fiscal child abuse via piling on more and more debt, and waking up every single solitary morning wondering which of our rights are going to be under attack today. So it's time, beyond time, for Texans to be able to have a say in our future, and to ask that question, should the state of Texas reassert its status as an independent nation?
SMITH: Now, Texas actually has tried to secede from the union several times, including during 1868, probably most famously, which launched the Supreme Court case, Texas v White, which ruled that states cannot unilaterally secede from the country. So, Daniel, what's your response to that? Right now, the law of the land is that states are not able to secede. How do you respond to people who use that as a comeback?
MILLER: Well, look, it's not the law of the land. Let's start by looking at the Constitution. There is no constitutional prohibition against a state withdrawing from the union. You know, if they wanted to do that, they passed a whole basketful of amendments to the Constitution after the Civil War. So as it stands right now, there is no constitutional prohibition. There is no prohibition under federal law. And additionally, it's a reserved the right, to Texas under Article One, Section two of our Texas Constitution to alter, reform, or abolish our government in such a manner as we may think expedient.
But you mention the almighty card that the opposition believes trumps everything, and that's Texas versus White. But I will tell you that 99% of the people who cite Texas versus white have never read it. Inside that decision, Chief Justice Chase says that it's an indissoluble union comprised of indestructible states. But then he goes on to describe two specific methods under which states could withdraw from the union. But, you have to understand that he based his entire premise upon the preamble of the Constitution, nothing in the document itself. So fast forward to the 20th century when you have a Supreme Court decision of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which said that the federal government can derive no powers from the preamble unless explicitly stated in the Constitution. So, you know, you take Jacobson v. Massachusetts, and that essentially overturns Texas v. White because it destroys Chase's, you know, his entire argument. But at the end of the day, this is not a judicial question. It's a political question. It's not up to unaccountable, unelected federal judges. It's up to the people of Texas to make the decision.
SMITH: Now, I've got to ask you your preference with this scenario, because national divorce has been a trending topic lately, a lot of people feel the same way. They're sick and tired of seeing the left erode our civil liberties, wage wars on our youth, transing all the kids, abortion on demand and without apology, they're sick of all of those things, Daniel. If you had the option of Texas being its own independent nation or a secession, red states become one unified nation, blue states become one unified nation. Which one would you take if you had the choice between the two?
MILLER: Well, look, it's really sort of a false dichotomy, right? Because you have to understand this is a union that is comprised of 50 sovereign states. It's not comprised of a union of two political parties. So ultimately, each state as a sovereign entity has got to make that decision. And then what they do on the other side of that independence is entirely up to them. Personally, and our organization does not advocate for the formation of another absolute political and economic union on the other side of this, and the reason is quite simple: you look around the world right now and you see 200 self-governing, independent nations around the world. They can defend one another through mutual defense pacts. They can trade with one another under trade agreements. They can travel with one another with travel agreements. They can do all of the things among one another. That actually the founders and the framers envisioned for this union. The only difference is they don't have to surrender their sovereignty to a capital that is not theirs, to have a bunch of people that they didn't elect, forcing policies on them that they don't want. They work under an agreed framework and maintain their sovereignty. That's the way the world works.
So while I sympathize with the idea of national divorce, national divorce is a slogan, it's not a plan. But let's not put the cart before the horse. It's important to remember that each state should be having this conversation right now and then putting it to a vote of their people and determining whether they want to stay in a failed political and economic institution or assert their status as independent nations like 200 other countries around the world.
SMITH: It's a fascinating discussion and one that a lot of that resonates with a lot of people.