I'm not a lawyer, just a deeply embarrassed Texan who misses Ann Richards and the pre-Bush era, when Texas blood ran blue and true. However (and don't believe those Texas TV stereotypes, I don't own a horse or a gun) I'm a big reader, and I like to try and make sense of what I read.
The 14th Amendment is made up of several sections. The Tea Party has made it known that they'd like to throw it out. At first, I thought it was Section 1 that had them all a'tizzy, regarding birthright citizenship and their disdain for "anchor babies" (aka "American Citizens").
But then, with the debt ceiling debate, we all ran back to reexamine Section 4, which states that America's ability to pay her debts shall not be questioned. And that seems pretty open-and-shut to me, but again, I'm not a lawyer and don't even like to watch lawyer shows on television. Finer minds than mine will have to decide that.
However, I noticed something else when I went back and looked at the 14th Amendment. That happened to be Section 3. And that's when it struck me.
“Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” Perry said. “My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that.” -Rick Perry, April 2009, one of several statements advocating a return to Texas' status as a sovereign Republic
Supreme Court of the United States, Chief Justice Salmon Chase, April 12, 1869, Texas v. White:
"When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.
US Constitution, Amendment 14, Section 3:
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Um....does anybody remember a 2/3 vote of the US House and Senate which would allow a secessionist to continue to represent my state? Because I've been looking all over the 'Net, and I can't seem to find any mention of it. I'm asking because I really want to improve my understanding of this. Thanks for any thoughts
10:05 AM PT: Update. DeanNC correctly pointed me in the proper direction for the answer to my question. Thank you! Section 3 was formally discharged from the requirement for majority approval of both houses, and eventually declawed, 33 years after the end of the Civil War.