More than 800,000 residents from all 50 states have petitioned the Obama administration to allow their states to withdraw from the U.S., citing the Declaration of Independence, the growth of the federal government and the economy in their bids to secede.
The White House petitions website invites citizens to petition the administration to "take action on a range of important issues facing our country." If a petition passes 25,000 signatures within 30 days of posting, the White House staff "will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts and issue an official response."
Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina and Alabama have passed the 25,000 signature threshold for White House review. Texas leads the pack with more than 108,000 signatures.
The majority of the petitions quote a section of the Declaration of Independence, saying, "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."
Other petitions from Alaska, Oregon, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas give specific reasons on behalf of their states.
The Alaska petition said the state should be allowed to hold a vote on secession because many Alaskans believe the U.S. Constitution has been set aside and that, "other than ourselves, there are no protections to the liberty and freedoms we are to have as our continued inheritance."
Oregon would like to leave the U.S. because the federal government has grown too large, is abusing the rights of state constitutions and is forcing unconstitutional laws over its citizens, the petition said. The new Wisconsin petition similarly said that the administration is infringing on the rights granted to citizens in the Constitution.
One of the two Ohio petitions said that the state has a population and economy larger than that of Switzerland and can stand on its own "as a free and independent nation" while remaining on friendly terms with the U.S. The Texas petition also cited economic terms, saying that the state's balanced budget and status as the fifteenth largest economy in the world makes it practically feasible for Texas to be independent.
The Texas petition included additional reasons such as "the federal government's "neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending," and abuses of citizen rights through things like the National Defense Authorization Act and the Transportation Security Administration.197 comments on this story
Although author Bob Smiley argued Tuesday that Texas could successfully secede due to its resources, economy, power grid, military assets and history, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he doesn't support the petition.
"Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our union and nothing should be done to change it," Perry's press secretary Catherine Frazier wrote in a statement. "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government . . . 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."
One petition organizer told The Daily Caller that the petitions were a reaction of people seeking to "do something, anything, to show we're not going away quietly."
Critics of the petitions have responded with their own asking the government to deport everyone who signed the petitions or to strip the citizenship of the people who signed the petitions before exiling them.