From states across the country, Americans have filed petitions on the White House Web site seeking to secede from the union and form new state governments.
While most of the petitions come from states that supported Mitt Romney in last week’s election, a few swing states and even the deep blue Northeast are represented.
Petitions have been filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
“We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government,” reads the Alabama petition. The following text is the same in most of the 20 filed so far:
As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”
Most of the petitions have a few thousand signatures; many signers appear to be from other states. Under the “We the People” program, launched last year, the White House will respond to any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days. Anyone over the age of 13 can create a petition. Previous popular petitions demanded the White House beer recipe (success) and marijuana legalization (no success).
The petitions from Louisiana and Texas, however, are approaching the threshold for a response. They were the first two states represented, followed by Alabama. Petitioners only have to put a first name and last initial on the site.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised the idea of secession back in 2009, but he has since made clear that he has no interest in it. Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp suggested in 2010 that some states might have to “consider separation from this government” should the leadership in Washington not change. ”I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government,” he said.