The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Texas GOP chair Allen West

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

After the Supreme Court decisively shut down a lawsuit attempting to overturn the 2020 election, Texas GOP chair Allen West issued a disturbing statement floating the idea of possible secession over the result.

The case was brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, though it was widely panned by legal experts. Some believed that Paxton, currently under investigation by the FBI, was using the lawsuit as a vehicle to win President Donald Trump's favor and obtain a presidential pardon. Despite its lack of merit, the president and his allies rallied behind the lawsuit, with Trump himself calling it "the big one" — apparently trying to distinguish it from the more than 50 additional failed election lawsuits filed on his behalf.


From the start, the lawsuit never had a chance. Paxton tried to exploit a feature of the constitutional system that allows states to sue each other before the Supreme Court. But Paxton's arguments that four key swing states had violated the Constitution in conducting their elections were specious, and there was no reason to take them seriously. The court concluded, unsurprisingly, that Texas didn't even have the standing to bring a challenge to other states on this ground and rejected the argument without it even being officially filed.

For West, this absolutely predictable and expected result was a galling affront.

"The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressman, have decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law," he said in a statement. "Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences. This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable."

This was mostly just a comical tantrum. But the ending became deeply disturbing, as he explicitly floated the idea of seceding from the United States.

He continued: "This decision will have far reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution."

This is exactly why many have argued that Trump's disinformation campaign against the election and attempts to overthrow the result are so dangerous. While there was no reason to expect the effort to be successful, it would clearly succeed in convincing millions of Americans, perhaps a majority of Republicans, that the constitutional order was fundamentally broken. That raises the possibility of violence, disorder, and conflict.

There is no legitimate way for an American state or group of states to secede from the rest. That's why the American Civil War began. Suggesting secession is essentially threatening war.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois was sharply critical of the statement:


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Former President Bill Clinton leaves UCI Medical Center with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

CNBC screen shot

(Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton walked out of a Southern California hospital early Sunday morning accompanied by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after being admitted last week for a urological infection, live video showed.

Clinton, 75, had been in California for an event for the Clinton Foundation and was treated at the University of California Irvine Medical Center's intensive care unit after suffering from fatigue and being admitted on Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less

Trumpist rioters rampaging in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The federal judge overseeing the Oath Keepers conspiracy case in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection ordered their trial delayed this week, primarily because of the overwhelming amount of evidence still being produced in their cases. Though the delay was expected, its reasons are stark reminders that January 6 will be one of the most complex prosecutions in history and that the investigation remains very active as more evidence piles up. There are likely some very big shoes still to drop.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}