Petition to secede from the Union

By on November 20, 2012

The 50th state joined in on the petitioning rally for secession on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.

The petitions began with Louisiana the day after the election results were revealed, and have now grown to every state having hundreds of petitions circulating around.

The petitions, filed on the online government portal “We the People,” express the desires of citizens for their respective states to “withdraw peacefully from the United States of America and create its own government,” as worded in the Louisiana petition.

Though none of the petitions cite the results of the recent presidential election as a reason for the sudden influx of secession petitions, all have appeared in the immediate wake of President Obama’s reelection.

The We the People site, released in September 2011 by government officials at the White House, highlights the First Amendment to the Constitution as giving the right to petition the government and further states: “If a petition gets enough support, the White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”

According to ABC news, ‘enough support’ means the government officials mean at least 25,000 signatures within 30 days. Several states, including Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia have already surpassed that threshold and are awaiting a formal response.

The Texas petition alone, the first to pass the required minimum of signatures, now has approximately 113,000 people in support. This brings the total accumulated amount of signatures across all the petitions to over 700,000.

Alternately, many have spoken out against the petitions by filing another one. On the We the People site, the petitions want the government to “strip the citizenship from everyone who signed a petition to secede and exile them.” This petition is awaiting the 25,000 mark.

The governors from some of the states that have passed the numerical threshold for official government response have also spoken against it. According to the Associated Press, a representative of Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama said, “Governor Bentley believes in one nation under God. While there is frustration with the federal government, he [Governor Bentley] believes that states can be great laboratories of change.”

Texas Governor Rick also formally went on record to say that he is not in support of the petition, though residing over the state that has amassed the highest number of signatures. He said that he “believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it”, but that he also “share[s] the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”

Researchers and officials recognize that this movement to secede is nothing new; similar plans of action were made in both 2004 and 2008. Additionally, the Huffington Post went on to point out that, since the war, the failure rate of states wanting to secede remains at 100%.

Hence, officials recognize that the petition movement will likely reap results that are marginal at best. It does denote, however, that there is widespread discourse over satisfaction with the federal government, which will likely be further addressed in the upcoming presidential term.

Sharonne Hayes
Staff Writer

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