Less than a week after President Barack Obama's reelection, a petition submitted to the White House website calling for secession of Texas from the union has received more than 35,000 signatures, far more than for the other states that petitioned.
The rules for the White House petitions say that if a petition gets 25,000 signatures within 30 days, the White House staff will review it and "ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response." Expectations are that the Obama administration, on the grounds of its self-imposed rule, will have to make a response to the petition.
However, Yahoo! News notes that the White House may opt out of the rule under another that says: "To avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."
Houston Chronicle reports that the Texas petition passed the 25,000 threshold shortly after 2:30 p.m. Central time on Monday.
According to the Austin Chronicle, the petitions from Kentucky and Louisiana are also approaching the 25,000 threshold.
Digital Journal reports that the petition created on Friday by Micah H. from Arlington, Texas, followed a petition from Louisiana, filed by "Michael E" of Slidell. The Texas petition reads:
"The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending.
"The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, theTSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government."Houston Chronicle reports that Texas Governor Rick Perry, had previously made comments suggesting he would consider a proposal for Texas to withdraw from the US. He said: "When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we're kind of thinking about that again."
According to The Washington Post, Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp (R), also said in 2010 that some states of the union might have to “consider separation from this government.” He added: ”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."
However, Perry later denied that he supports secession. The Hill reports that on Monday, a Perry spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said he still does not support secession. She said: "Governor 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."
She added: "Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas. 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."
Should the Texas petition and others be taken seriously?
According to Houston Chronicle, a constitutional law professor at Georgetown University Law School, David Cole, said: I think it would take a civil war, frankly. If I'm not mistaken, this was tried once before."
Digital Journal reports that Texas is not the only state with a citizen's petition for secession. At least 18 states have filed a citizens petition. The states include: Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, and Missouri.
According to Houston Chronicle, on Monday, a counter-petition opposing secession was filed at the White House site but it has not received significant support.
Austin Chronicle reports that after the Texas petition was filed, a GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak, tweeted: "Please stop the Texas secession updates. Not helpful, newsworthy, clever or meaningful."
CBS Dallas/Fort Worth notes that in spite of the suggestion by Perry that Texas has the constitutional right to secede ("When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we're kind of thinking about that again."), secession is unconstitutional and Texas does not have the right to form its own independent government. CBS D/FW comments:
"According to the Texas State Library and Archives in Austin, Texas gave up the right to become independent again when we were annexed by the United States in 1845. Our fate of statehood was further sealed without question following the Civil War with the Presidential Proclamation of August 1866, declaring peace between the U.S. and Texas.
"Our statehood was fully restored 4 years later with the re-admittance of full representation in Washington during the reconstruction era after the war."