Can a US state opt to become a territory without leaving the nation as a whole?

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The Politicus
Jun 29, 2022 06:39 PM 0 Answers
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This relates to an item legislated by the Texas republican party recently. Overlooking the more regressive and dangerous items, and the frivolous and inconsequential items, they are also throwing the idea around of leaving the United States. This is not legally possible.

Texas has a history of threatening to do this every fifteen years or so, for better or for worse. Aside from legality, it would be a massive inconvenience for parties on both sides of the border, and leave them with substantial debt which I do not believe that they deserve to face alone; but then, I am not specifically a Texan.

If they did secede from the union, they would lose a lot of Federal resources which Texas has come to depend on, along with social security, armament, medicare, and any number of additional federal programs. This would also result in the retrieval of a massive amount of infrastructure and federal hardware from Texas, which would not be instantaneous or easy. That said, a lot of us would be happy to wish them well and let them go, given proper congressional management of the issue, but it just can't reasonably be done.

As precedent, in 1864 (Texas v. White), the Supreme Court determined that the constitution did not permit states to unilaterally secede from the union, and the agreements made with the defunct Confederated States of America (including by Texas) were null.

So, I'm wondering, if the Republic of Texas is tired of being a state, can we just allow them to become a territory instead? They would still benefit from a lot of the federal aid they need, but they would no longer be represented in congress as a state. They would additionally receive advantages akin to Puerto Rico, like not having to pay federal income taxes. Is there precedent against this, since they would not be leaving the nation?

Would this interfere with the legislation of Texas v. White, or any other unmentioned case?

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