California will remain one state for the time being after its Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 18 shot down an initiative on the November ballot that would have split the state into three separate ones.
The state court unanimously decided against Proposition 9 because “significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity,” ordering California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla to remove it from the Nov. 6 ballot.
“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,” the justices wrote in their ruling.
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper for years has argued that California should be split into three states, and, because of its massive size, would be governed more effectively with “better decision-making and real solutions closer to home.”
This year a petition to get his concept on the ballot garnered enough signatures to put it on California’s ballot for the midterm elections despite economy experts warning that, if passed, the state would face a host of legal and political obstacles, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.
Supporters of Cal 3 have said that California leadership has “failed” its residents for not catering to a wide variety of communities. They say a three-way partition would allow its respective communities make legislative decisions on a wide variety of pressing issues that represent their values.
Under the measure, each state would about 12.3 million to 13.9 million people. Northern California would comprise of 40 counties, including the Bay Area and counties north of Sacramento. California would include the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito. Southern California would include 12 counties: San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern and Imperial.
After Prop 9 was introduced on the ballot, the non-profit environmental group Planning and Conservation League (PCL) filed a lawsuit to block the proposal from receiving a vote.
“We opposed the measure because splitting the state up doesn’t solve any of our existing challenges, it just makes them worse,” Howard Penn, executive director of the PCL, told NPR. “We have worked hard for the past 50 plus years on statewide policies that help make California a healthy place to live. If the state gets split up into three parts, it would be like hitting the reset button and starting over.”
Last week, a Draper-funded group called Citizens for Cal 3 issued a statement in response to the PCL’s lawsuit which they called “just another example of how Sacramento politicians, powerful unions and their high-priced lobbyists are trying to hold onto power at the expense of California voters.”
However, Draper and his group have a challenge the decision before the court, opening up the possibility that the measure will appear in a future ballot.