- Some 23,000 people in Texas want to separate from the rest of the US
- Petitions need 25,000 signatures to be considered as policy
- Right to petition government protected by First Amendment
By Louise Boyle
PUBLISHED: 18:03 EST, 12 November 2012 | UPDATED: 20:09 EST, 12 November 2012
Although America carried President Obama confidently into a second term last Tuesday – not everyone is jumping for joy at the prospect of four more years.
Tens of thousands have put their names to secession petitions in 20 states, asking that they peacefully become independent from the rest of the country.
The documents have been lodged on a government website We The People – and Texas has almost enough people behind its petition to warrant an official White House response.
Along with the Lone Star state, petitions were filed from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee. So keen are the folks in Georgia for a separation, that they filed their petition twice.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of these states voted for Republican nominee Mitt Romney although petitions were also lodged in Democrat strongholds such as New York and Oregon.
Texas has gained the most so far with 23,000 people backing the wish to form an independent government.
The right to petition the U.S. government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
If there is enough support – 25,000 signatures are needed – then it is sent to policy experts within the administration.
Other petitions are currently filed on the website including ones to ‘Officially recognize American Sign Language as a community language and a language of instruction in schools’, another to ‘regulate internet pornography’ and ‘stop the drone strikes’.
Mitt Romney conceded defeat in the presidential election last Tuesday after the final count saw Obama with a total of 332 electoral college votes to Romney’s 206.