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Petition for Texas to secede from U.S. reaches 25,000 signatures; goes to White House

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 13th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

An online petition for the state of Texas to secede form the United States has officially reached the 25,000 signatures to get an official response from the federal government within 30 days. The bold gesture - which has since been copied by several other states - will now go to the White House. However, an 1866 rule adopted after the Civil War literally dooms the measure to failure.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The petition, listed on the Web site WhiteHouse.gov asks the Obama administration to "peacefully grants the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government." The petition is the work of someone who only identifies themselves as "Micah H.," from Arlington, Texas.

The nation's economic woes are cited as the chief reason for the petition. The document argues that Texas' budget and economy make it "practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union."

All the petitions on WhiteHouse.gov that get sufficient support are reviewed with utmost seriousness by White House staff. They are then relayed to "the appropriate policy experts." To be searchable on WhiteHouse.gov, petitions currently need to get 150 signatures within 30 days. To get an official response, petitions need 25,000 signatures within 30 days.

It's an idea that has caught on in other states. Similar petitions from other states have also been filed from such states as Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee.

None of the petitions from these states have reached the 25,000-signature threshold to get an official White House response as of this week.

The petition is certainly doomed to failure. According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, an 1866 proclamation signed by then-President Andrew Johnson clearly spelled out that no state had the right to leave the union:

" . It is the manifest determination of the American people that no State, of its own will, has a right or power to go out of or separate itself from, or be separated from the American Union; and that, therefore, each State ought to remain and constitute an integral part of the United States ."

The petitions are seen as a manifestation of citizens unhappy with the re-election of President Barack Obama. University of Texas at Austin Assistant Professor Jason Casellas has told NBC News the gesture is especially applicable in the state of Texas, where 57 percent of the state population's vote went for Republican Mitt Romney.

Catherine Frazier, press secretary for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, told NBC News Monday that the governor "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," Frazier said in a statement. "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."

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