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Charles B. Sears Law Library SUNY Buffalo Law School

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And Then There Were 49…Or Is It 54?

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |

Petitions are wonderful things. With a petition, you have a peaceful avenue to attempt to obtain whatever it is you desire. You gather signatures of like-minded individuals and attempt to change the world. The White House has a forum, We the People, which  encourages Americans to advocate for their issues via petition. You can start a petition on the website and if you reach 25,000 signatures within thirty days, the White House will review the petition and potentially respond. Remember when home brewers were clamoring for the White House beer recipe? That’s a We the People success story. Now there’s another word floating around We the People…secession.

Personally I blame it on all the airtime those Lincoln trailers have been getting lately, but an awful lot of states are talking about seceding from the Union. For the most part, we can laugh that off (“Sure, ok, Montana. You go off and do your thing. Best of luck.”), but there is one state that is taking this whole secession thing seriously. How seriously? Over 102,000 signatures seriously. Can you guess which state? Hint: Word on the blog is you don’t want to mess with it.

There’s been a stubborn rumor kicking around since Texas forwent its republic status and joined the U.S. in 1845 that, as a part of its admission, Texas retained the right to secede and form its own republic That’s just not true. Granted, if Texas wants to illegally secede like certain southern states did prior to the Civil War, it can do so…at its own risk. But a right to secession? Nope. Interestingly, the Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States does include a clause that would allow Texas to break itself up into five states, but each and every one of those states would still be a member of the United States.

The secession petition has far surpassed the required number of signatures for a White House response, but there’s been nothing as of yet. The best response though just might be the petition that was filed three days later. Apparently, should the state of Texas jump the Union ship, the city of Austin (otherwise known as the capital of “Keeping it Weird”) wants out of Texas. As a post script to its request, Austin would also like to take Dublin, TX; Lockhart, TX; and Shiner, TX with it. If you know the drink or food affiliation of each of those towns, you’ll understand why Austin wants ’em.

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