Nikki Haley says Texas can secede from US if it wants but 'isn't going to'

That view contradicts centuries of history and precedent.

Texas has the right to secede from the U.S. if its citizens decide to do so, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley argued on Wednesday -- a controversial view that contradicts centuries of established history and precedent. Similar secession efforts infamously led to the Civil War.

But "if Texas decides they want to do that, they can do that," Haley said in an interview with the radio show "The Breakfast Club."

"If that whole state says, 'We don't want to be part of America anymore,' I mean, that's their decision to make," Haley said, though she also noted, "Let's talk about what's reality. Texas isn't going to secede."

Asked if she still believes that states generally have the right to secede, a sentiment she expressed on camera during her initial run for governor of South Carolina, Haley said that "states have the right to make the decisions that their people want to make."

"I believe in states' rights, I believe that everything should be as close to the people to decide," she said.

A Haley campaign spokeswoman did not respond to further questions about Haley's view.

She was asked about her views in light of a tense, ongoing dispute between Texas Republicans and the Biden administration over the Texas-Mexico border.

While running for the governor of South Carolina in 2010, Haley was questioned in an interview if she believed that the states had the right to secede from the federal union.

Haley said then that "I think that they do. I mean, the Constitution says that."

However, in 1869, in the Texas v. White case in the immediate wake of the Civil War, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the United States is "an indestructible union"

"...The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible states," the majority wrote.

"When Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation," the justices wrote.