from the fault-lines dept.
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked a proposal that would split the state into three from the November ballot.
The court wrote that it took the step "because significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition's validity and because we conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election."
Last week, an environmental group sued to have the measure removed from the ballot. To substantially alter the state's governance under the California constitution, the group argued, a constitutional convention would need to be called -- and that requires a supermajority of both houses of the state's legislature. A ballot initiative, the group said, was constitutionally insufficient.
Asked if he would continue fighting for the measure, Draper said in an email to Bloomberg News that "the same six lawyers are going to make the decision. What would be the point? They have just proven that California has a runaway government and the people have no say."
Draper, a venture capitalist, sought the initiative because he said the world's fifth-largest economy is "nearly ungovernable" under the current system. Asked if there was anything else he planned to do to make the government more accountable, he said he was "still recovering from the shock."
A California technology billionaire said on Thursday that his longtime and perhaps quixotic effort to partition the Golden State into multiple new states could soon be put before voters.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper said he had gathered about 600,000 signatures on a petition to put his proposal to divide California on the November ballot, more than the 366,000 needed to qualify. It is his third attempt to get voters to weigh in on his call to break up the most populous U.S. state.
Draper, who in 2014 and 2016 failed in his efforts to win approval for a ballot initiative to divide the state into six parts, said in a news release Thursday that he planned to file the signatures with election officials next week.
[...] To go into effect, California would first have to certify the signatures that Draper has gathered, and then voters in November would need to pass the measure. After that, the U.S. Congress would have to approve it.
California's 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent's edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year — as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the Nov. 6 ballot.
If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, a long and contentious process would begin for three separate states to take the place of California, with one primarily centered around Los Angeles and the other two divvying up the counties to the north and south. Completion of the radical plan — far from certain, given its many hurdles at judicial, state and federal levels — would make history.
It would be the first division of an existing U.S. state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.