People in 50 states this past year have submitted petitions for secession. Twenty-some are united in state-based opposition to abortion, more than 30 have spontaneously raised state-based challenges to ObamaCare in the courts.

Kansas and Missouri are today waiting for Texas to join their challenge to Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Former Fox News correspondent James Rosen left amid harassment allegations: report Issa retiring from Congress MORE and the Obama administration and vote on H.B. 928, a bill that would make most federal gun control measures “nearly impossible to enforce.” And The Hill reported on Saturday that “at least 28 states have sought to provide similar exemptions” to a Kansas bill that claims to nullify federal gun controls.

These states, in the middle, the West and some in the South, share a wellspring of common cultural values with Texas. Texas is the largest and wealthiest of this collective of states, possibly more than 35. It is of importance to these states as New York once was to the Northeast. Texas today might be considered the center of red state cultural and economic power and identity.

But can states be expelled as Ricks would like to expel Texas? No state in Jefferson’s vision was given dominance over others, so Texas Gov. Rick Perry would not be allowed, say, to expel Massachusetts, and likewise Deval Patrick, Massachusetts's governor, would not be allowed to expel Texas.

However, Virginia, according to a manual for secession in Vermont published not long ago, had a secession clause written into its original contract by Jefferson, and so did New York and Rhode Island, with George Washington’s approval. And it was assumed then that if the one had it then they all did. That way, if one state came to despise another as Ricks apparently does Texas, they could part amicably.

So what happened with that? It washed in with the blood, mud and smoke in the grim nights at Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Chancellorsville and Cemetery Ridge, somewhere between 1861 and 1865.