Secession advocates petition White House website to withdraw from USA

In the wake of President Obama's re-election, thousands of Virginians and Marylanders are joining the movement to secede from America.

They're signing petitions calling for independence from the federal government.

And where do the petitions go? On the White House's "We the People" website. In essence, they're asking the president for permission to secede.

Advocates of secession say that people in all 50 states have signed petitions to withdraw from the United States of America.

People have filed lots of other petitions with the White House on a wide range of issues. When a petition receives 25,000 signatures within a month, the White House formally responds.

As of Wednesday morning, seven states have hit or exceeded the magic number: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

While secession is a long-shot, supporters say they won't back down. And critics are shaking their heads.

After the American Civil War, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1868 that states could not secede. Secession could be accomplished only through a revolution or by an agreement between the states, such as a constitutional amendment, which would require approval by three-fourths of the states' legislatures.

So, even if President Obama wanted to approve any of the petitions for secession, he lacks the power to do so.

And even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hinted at secession in 2009 while answering a question at a Tea Party rally, has not supported the petitions to secede.