Call it the confederacy of petitioners, except the petitions have now spread beyond the South.
In the days since President Obama secured re-election, a wave of user-submitted petitions from states in almost every region of the country has hit WhiteHouse.gov calling for secession from the union.
At the White House site We the People, visitors can submit petitions on a range of "important" issues facing the country, and the White House promises to review them and issue a response once they reach a certain "signature threshold."
But some loopholes in the procedure allow the White House to get out of that commitment, as ABC's Sarah Parnass recently reported.
As of late Tuesday morning, petitions had been submitted by users asking the White House to allow peaceful secession by 34 states, with a handful of states seeing two petitions submitted. The leading petitions had gathered almost 388,000 signatures. WhiteHouse.gov requires an e-mail address for anyone who signs a petition, but nothing prevents crossover signatures on petitions from multiple states, or for residents of Virginia, for instance, signing the petition for Ohio - so the signature number is likely inflated.
By 2:20 p.m. ET, the list of signatures had grown to more than 409,000, with new petitions added for two states, Virginia and Wisconsin. Signatures had grown by 5 percent for the original 34 states.
Texas led all petitions with 70,898 digital signatures this morning. As of now, it has 77, 090, having added nearly 7,000 signatures in a few hours.
The states with the most signatures were:
Most of the petitions bear the title "Peacefully grant the [state] to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." Texas's 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, the TSA, 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.
Several other states' petitions read:
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 …"
The 36 states for which petitions have been submitted are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.