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Petitioners Renew Talk of Texas Secession

A petition calling for Texas to "peacefully" withdraw from the United States of America was filed on a White House website Friday. It already has enough signatures to warrant an official response.

By Maurice Chammah, The Marshall Project
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Update, 4:40pm: Gov. Rick Perry's office, in response to an online petition asking the White House to approve the secession of Texas from the U.S., has said that "Gov. 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," added spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. "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."

Update: An online petition asking the U.S. government for permission for Texas to withdraw from the country and create a "new government" has reached 25,000 signatures. The Obama administration, according to terms officially laid out by the White House, is now required to respond to the petition "in a timely fashion."

Original story: Following President Obama's re-election last week, the White House has received nearly two dozen petitions asking his administration to allow individual states to secede peacefully from the United States of America. The leading petition, by far, comes from Texas, which as of noon Monday had 20,683 signatures.

"The U.S. continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending," reads the petition, which was created last Friday by "Micah H," who lists Arlington as his residence. "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."

The signers need not live in Texas, but if the petition reaches 25,000 signatures by Dec. 9, the Obama administration will need to issue a response.

Other petitions have been filed for Louisiana, Alabama, Oregon and other states, but Texas may be the only state with a governor who has openly pondered the subject of leaving the union. Gov. Rick Perry told audiences twice in 2009 that secession had crossed his mind. “When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation,” he said to a group of bloggers. “And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.”

Perry’s office later clarified that he never advocated for secession.

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