POLITICS
10/17/2013 03:41 pm ET Updated Oct 18, 2013

MoveOn.org Petition Calls For Arrest Of Republican Leaders For Sedition

The 16-day shutdown of the federal government has finally come to an end, but many Americans are still furious about what they perceive as a GOP-sponsored gambit to defund the Affordable Care Act.

One outlet for that fury is a petition from the progressive MoveOn.org that calls for the U.S. Department of Justice to arrest and try Republican leaders, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), for "the crime of seditious conspiracy against the United States of America."

The petition argues that "the House GOP leadership's use of the Hastert Rule and H. Res 368 to shut down the government and threaten the US economy with default is an attempt to extort the United States government into altering or abolishing the Affordable Care Act, and thus, is self-evidently a seditious conspiracy." (The U.S. Code defines "seditious conspiracy" in part as any conspiracy "to oppose by force the authority [of the U.S. government], or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.")

With more than 21,000 signatures to date, the petition reflects a wider revulsion over the government's costly political meltdown -- which, among other consequences, resulted in furloughs for 800,000 federal workers, the shuttering of some Head Start programs, the suspension of federal health and safety inspections, and the loss of $24 billion in economic activity.

At the end of the standoff, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was among those still angered by the shutdown, although not so angry as to accuse anyone of being an enemy of the state.

"I'm glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I'm relieved that we didn't default on our debt. But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight," the senator wrote in an email Wednesday night. "So I'm relieved, but I'm also pretty angry."

UPDATE -- 10/18, 5:10 p.m.: MoveOn.org Platform Director Steven Biel gave the following statement to HuffPost:

MoveOn created our open petition platform to support grassroots democracy and free speech. It's open to the public and people can use it to speak out on and organize support for any cause they believe in. We don't censor petitions we disagree with--there are even some petitions on the site criticizing MoveOn.

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