David Kravets explores this question at Wired. He’s skeptical any such petition would meet success, with good reason. The iPhone exemption that EFF sought in late 2008 is still pending. Fred von Lohmann is undeterred and despite the three year lag induced by the exemption cycle, it sounds likely the EFF will pursue an exemption to legalize jail breaking the iPad as well.
The implication in the article, one I agree with, is that as a device closer to a general purpose computer, the exemption should be more valid for the iPad rather than the iPhone. Even though there is a 3G model, it is just a data connection which already demonstrates the device has more in common with the cell capable netbooks on the market than smart phones.
Kravets notes the reality is that exemption or not, the iPad is likely to be jailbroken, and my guess is it will happen rapidly. The incentive and interest to do so is going to be at least as great as with the iPhone.