More than 50 people gathered in Tyler Thursday night to learn more about the Texas Nationalist Movement - an organization that's working to promote ideas of Texas independence and nationalism.
Members of the Texas Nationalist Movement say that an online petition circulating this week asking that Texas be allowed to withdraw from the union has made the thought of secession more popular.
"It's brought the topic up. It's not our petition. We didn't have anything to do with it and we've watched it and been amused by it. But we do believe that, like a lot of those people, it is time for Texas to restore its sovereignty," said Tammy Blair, a regional coordinator for the Texas Nationalist Movement.
The Texas Nationalist Movement is a 17-year old organization started by former Longview resident Daniel Miller, who says he believes Texas will eventually be independent and can be thanks to Article 1, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution.
"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 on the right of local self-government unimpaired to all the states," Miller said, quoting the article of the constitution.
But TJC government professor David McClendon disagrees.
"Well, that phrase, 'Subject only to the constitution of the United States' means that Texas is not a free and independent state because it is bound by the Constitution of the United States, which makes it a working partner of the other 49 states of the United States and the Congress of the United States,' said McClendon.
McClendon says other legal and judicial precedents from the reconstruction era - mainly the 14th amendment and the 1869 Supreme Court decision "Texas v. White" - would make it hard for Texas to secede.
"It was a mutual decision for Texas and the United States to join together, and the only way that that union could be undone was by a mutual agreement for it to be undone as well," McClendon said.
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