White House reviews Texas secession petition

Published On: Nov 12 2012 11:40:17 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 13 2012 05:47:05 PM CST

Nov. 13, 2012: A petition for Texas to secede from the United States reached the number needed to get a comment from the Obama Administration. Mary Lee reports.

HOUSTON -

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.

While the Texas petition does not explicitly name the re-election of President Obama as the reason to secede it claimed the nation continues to suffer because of the "federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending."  Texas had the most signatures as of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday more than 56,554. The number doubled in less than 6 hours.

"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, have the most signatures. They were the first two states represented, followed by Alabama. Petitioners only have to put a first name and last initial on the site.

Tuesday afternoon, the Texas secession petition has more than 81,000 signatures, which would require a response from the White House.

Mark Jones, Rice University's Political Science Department Chair, said he does not think Texas will ever secede from the Union.

"It's fun for parlor conversations to talk about what if Texas became its own country, but it's not going to happen," said Jones. "It would create a lot of chaos and problems for Texas, because we're so intertwined with the rest of the nation from commerce, trade, rules and regulations. It would have a negative impact on the Texas economy."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) raised the idea of secession back in 2009, but he has since made clear that he has no interest in it.

In a statement released Monday night Perry's office said, "Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper. We cannot allow Washington’s tax and spend, one-size-fits-all mindset to jeopardize our children’s future, undermine our personal liberties and drive our nation down a dangerous path to greater dependence of government."

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