A petition posted to the White House web site seeks for the state of Alaska to secede from the US and rejoin Russia. The petition, which may or may not be serious, gathered over 10,000 signatures in three days.
Created by an anonymous Anchorage resident, the petition, entitled “Alaska Back to Russia,” is rather poorly written; it gives a brief history of the state, pointing out that the Russians were the first to settle there (after the Aleuts), and finishing with “Vote for secession of Alaska from the United States and joining Russia.”
As of press time the petition had 23,000 signatures, well short of the 100,000 required by April 20th to get a response from the administration. But the Obama team previously made clear its views on state secession, in response to a petition calling for Louisiana secession:
Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States “in order to form a more perfect union” through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot — a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it. As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address in 1861, “in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual.” In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that “[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.”
While it may be desirable for a US state to secede to increase freedom and liberty, it’s unclear why one would then want to join the Russian Federation and throw that freedom and liberty away.
Alaska was purchased from Russia by President Andrew Johnson in 1867 for $7.2 million, and it became a state on January 3rd, 1959.