‘Three California’ plan won’t appear on November ballot, California Supreme Court rules

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked the controversial initiative aimed at dividing California into three states from going to voters in November.

Earlier this summer, the Tim Draper-backed plan announced that it had obtained enough signatures to get on the ballot, grabbing national headlines about whether such a plan had any realistic chance of getting voter approval.

But in its ruling Wednesday, the state’s high court unanimously blocked the initiative “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.”

The lawsuit was filed by The Planning and Conservation League, an environmental group, which argued that the measure amounted to an amendment to the California Constitution, meaning it would require the two-thirds approval of the Assembly and the state Senate to get on the ballot.

“Proposition 9 was a costly, flawed scheme that will waste billions of California taxpayer dollars, create chaos in public services including safeguarding our environment and literally eliminate the State of California – all to satisfy the whims of one billionaire,” Howard Penn, executive director of the Planning and Conservation League, said in a statement. “We are thankful for the opportunity to save Californians from having to vote on a billionaire’s folly.”

The “Three Californias” plan proposed splitting the state up into California, Northern California and Southern California in an attempt to improve things like the state’s infrastructure and education system.

Under the plan, Northern California would go from the San Jose area and extend to the Oregon border. Southern California would start in Fresno and cover most of Southern California, including the Inland empire and San Diego, and California would include Los Angeles County and extend up the coast to Monterey County.

In addition to the legal hurdles, the proposal came with many question marks, like the transactional costs of actually breaking up the state’s university systems, public works projects and other governmental services.

However, the state Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t completely end the effort, as the justices noted that the measure may be able to qualify for a future ballot, depending on a final ruling on the legality of the proposal.

“The whole point of the initiative process was to be set up as a protection from a government that was no longer representing its people. Now that protection has been corrupted,” Draper said in a statement posted on Facebook. “Whether you agree or not with this initiative, this is not the way democracies are supposed to work. This kind of corruption is what happens in third world countries.”

12 comments

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  1. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 19 July, 2018, 09:19

    Questions:

    1) If this initiative amounts to a an amendment to the California Constitution, which makes sense to me, why didn’t that question come up when it was submitted to the Secretary of State?

    2) If this initiative has been proposed as a solution to the vast complexities of California State government and politics, which makes no sense to me, what will be the solution to the even greater complexities that will result from breaking it up into three separate states?

    3) If this initiative does go on the ballot and it passes, how much will it cost taxpayers to implement?

    4) What billionaire?

    Reply this comment
  2. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 19 July, 2018, 10:41

    I can’t help but notice that each of the 3 new “Californias” was carefully designed to allow political domination by a progressive urban center, much like Washington State is dominated by Seattle. NorCal by the SF Bay Area, CenCal by Los Angeles, and SoCal by the rest of the southern counties not named Orange or San Diego. Gerrymandering by lumping Los Angeles County with Kern County on the other side of the Tehachapi Mountains is laughably obvious.

    Reply this comment
  3. ricky65
    ricky65 20 July, 2018, 08:23

    I wasn’t going to vote for this anyway because it only made problems worse for us rural folks in Nor Cal seeking freedom from the addicts and fecalites of the lunatic left Bay area. But something has to be done about the black robed thugs who can hijack the people’s initiative process and change it on a whim.
    Legislation by adjudication.

    Reply this comment
    • seesaw
      seesaw 26 July, 2018, 11:49

      It was not hijacked on a whim–it was removed according to the judges’ best interpretation of the constitution. That’s why they are in the position they are in. Calling judges thugs? Please! Can’t we have intelligent discourse!

      Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 20 July, 2018, 09:04

    Wonderful news. Doomer calls again off all kinds for trailers and trucks and our top grade Myrmar packing supplies.

    We love ya. Mmmmwha!

    Call Ole Uly any time!!!!

    Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 20 July, 2018, 15:30

    We up here in Southern Orecon/Northern California have prefered The State of Jefferson without the Sanctuary State Democrats like Moonbeam and his outlaw govenorship

    Reply this comment
  6. Hcat
    Hcat 21 July, 2018, 20:38

    I was not going to support this anyway. I would have if the coastal state had included the Bay Area. But taking it off the ballot was wrong.

    Reply this comment
    • Standing Fast
      Standing Fast 23 July, 2018, 13:15

      Not if it involves a question of Constitutionality. Putting a measure on the ballot that would require a Constitutional Amendment means the process is not the same as this proposal suggests.

      If it is a good thing, the people behind should follow the rules. If it is a bad thing, the fact that they didn’t is a blessing in disguise for those of us who oppose it.

      Not everything liberal judges do is wrong, and not everything conservative judges do is right.

      Reply this comment
      • seesaw
        seesaw 26 July, 2018, 11:51

        I learned by listening that it would be a constitutional revision–not a constitutional amendment. A constitutional revision would require legislative action prior to any citizen action.

        Reply this comment
  7. Teddy the Tedliest Steele
    Teddy the Tedliest Steele 25 July, 2018, 18:56

    Doomers, the GOP and their Moscow handles are upset abut this ruling— Moscow wanted the chaos.

    Reply this comment

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