The White House raised the signature threshold for its “We the People” petitions from 25,000 to 100,000, thereby making it more difficult for petitions to require an official response from the administration.
From the White House blog:
When we first raised the threshold — from 5,000 to 25,000 — we called it “a good problem to have.” Turns out that “good problem” is only getting better, so we’re making another adjustment to ensure we’re able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve.
Starting today, as we move into a second term, petitions must receive 100,000 signatures in 30 days in order to receive an official response from the Obama Administration. This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.
The timing of the White House announcement came just hours after a petition to remove Carmen Ortiz from office reached the 25,000 threshold, thereby requiring the Obama administration to respond to the popular request.
US District Attorney Carmen Ortiz has come under fire for prosecuting Internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Schwartz, who reportedly committed suicide one month before his trial was set to begin. Schwartz’s father claims his son was “killed by the government”, and Ortiz has been heavily blamed for taking part in the criminal pursuit that prompted the young man to kill himself.