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California Supreme Court Blocks a Proposed Ballot Initiative to Break up the State

You just can’t break up the Golden State.

Duane Paul Murphy

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A unanimous decision by the seven judges of  the state Supreme Court of California on Thursday, July 18, blocked a ballot initiative proposal that would break up or partitioned the state into three states. The initiative officially known as Proposition 9, originally proposed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, would split the state into three separate individual states with North California encompassing the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley and Sacramento, California including Los Angeles, and South California containing Orange County, the Inland Empire, and San Diego.

The court sided with a state environmental non-profit, the Planning and Conservation League, who brought up a lawsuit against Draper’s group, Citizens for Cal 3, because they said that breaking up the state could harm or deter current environmental regulations and standards. Furthermore, the Court also said that any proposed partition of the state must be approved by the state legislature as well as the federal Congress.

This is not the first time Draper wanted to break up the state. In 2014, he advocated for another ballot initiative to break up the state into six individual states for tax purposes. According to recent April public poll conducted by the CBS San Francisco affiliated KPIX-TV, only 17% supported Draper’s measure while more than 70% opposed it. Since no state in the country can legally succeed, especially after the Civil War, some states in recent years have considered state partitions that often reflect rural, urban, and suburban divides as well as liberal and conservative divides.  In Texas, the state’s Congress accepted a resolution to not only be annexed by the U.S. but also allow itself to divide into smaller states if it wishes too.

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Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

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