A pair of petitions filed on a White House website that seek approval for Missouri to withdraw from the United States have garnered a combined 33,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
McClatchy Newspapers reports that since President Barack Obama won re-election, nearly 1 million people from all 50 states have signed online petitions aimed at seceding from the union. The largest petition hails from Texas, which had 117,373 digital signatures by midday Monday.
The petitions appear on a section of the White House website called "We the People" that invites users to submit or sign petitions about policy changes they would like to see. If a petition gets 25,000 signatures within a month the White House staff will "review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."
It's important to note that the petitions have no legal significance, and the constitution does not allow states to unilaterally secede from the union. Many of the signatures on the Missouri petitions come from people who live outside the state.
Akhil Reed Amar, a Yale University law professor, told McClatchy that not only is secession unlikely, it is banned in the constitution and would be tantamount to treason.
The secession petitions have also spawned other petitions in response. One, created by someone named Joseph M. from Philadelphia, Pa., calls for the White House to throw a pizza party for the rest of the nation if Missouri is allowed to secede.
"As remaining loyal citizens of America, and to shove it in Missourians faces once they aren't a part of the US any longer, a Nationwide Pizza Party would reconcile differences, mend old wounds and bring together the nation," the petition reads.
It currently has only 1,600 signatures.