In the wake of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s capitulation to the Democrats on Second Amendment issues, a great many readers have asked how he can be removed from office.
The short answer: Only at the ballot box in 2026.
What Is Recall?
As defined by Ballotpedia, “A political recall is the process by which citizens can remove elected officials from office before their term is completed. This process typically includes the circulation of petitions by recall organizers, the evaluation of signatures by election officials, and a public vote if the petitions are deemed to have sufficient valid signatures.”
The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution prohibits the states from enacting laws to recall members of Congress or to impose restrictions other than those found in the Constitution.
“In keeping with the complexity of our federal system, once the representatives chosen by the people of each State assemble in Congress, they form a national body and are beyond the control of the individual States until the next election,” wrote Clarence Thomas in “U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton.”
Not In Texas … Mostly
So while there is no provision to “recall” federal officials, 19 states do allow for the recall of state officials. Texas is not one of them. There is no provision in state law for any recall elections for the state’s executive, legislative, or judicial officers.
Nor does Texas law make any provision for local recall elections. However, approximately 90 percent of Texas’ “home rule” cities do have recall provisions for their council members as part of their city charters.
Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R–San Antonio) were the only Republicans in Texas’ congressional delegation to join the Democrats in passing legislation designed to curtail citizens’ access to their Second Amendment rights. Cornyn was roundly booed by the nearly 10,000 delegates and alternates to the Republican Party’s biennial convention in Houston earlier this month. The party’s delegates also passed a platform resolution rebuking Cornyn’s actions.
After serving on the Supreme Court of Texas and one term as attorney general, Cornyn was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002. He was re-elected in 2008, 2014, and 2020.