A new multi-state secession push is going on right now. It's on the We The People tab on the White House website. Petition signatures are being gathered for more than 30 states.
Unlike the Civil War, this is a peaceful withdraw from the United States. Anger over the Presidential election results may be the fuel that sparked this political fire. I spoke with Professor Joshua Dunn. He is a political science expert at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He told me, "My first reaction is they have no chance of succeeding. The constitution has no mechanism for secession. If there was a mechanism for it, we probably wouldn't have had the Civil War." Professor Dunn also says even if the petitions forced a ballot issue, the state legislatures would also have to agree to back the secession. Professor Dunn added, "I suspect in most states it's not going to go anywhere in the legislature and if they can actually force it on the ballot. I suspect it won't succeed."
There have been previous calls for secession in the modern era, usually after bitterly contest elections. Professor Dunn also brought up the point that there was a push for states to leave the union even before the Civil War. He told me, "People often think secession is a southern phenomena in American history. The first region of the country that considered it was New England. It happened during the Thomas Jefferson presidency. It was after his trade embargo which was a disastrous economic mess. It was particularly disastrous for New England. They held conventions in New England to discuss secession."
The petitions that are on "We The People" can be created by anyone over 13 years of age. There is no specific check to determine if the person who signs up is legal to do it or if that person is actually a resident in the state. The White House has said it will respond to any petition that gets 25 thousand or more signatures within 30 days.
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