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Cal 3: Breaking up is hard to do - for California

(Tim Draper's Cal 3 initiative blocked by state Supreme Court)

Cal 3 / Proposition 9, a proposal to divide California into three new states, will not be on the ballot in November, 2018 due to intervention by the state Supreme Court. The initiative, which had nearly twice the number of signatures required, is a project of Silicon Valley capitalist Tim Draper. The court order denying ballot access said there were questions about Cal 3's validity and that there was more potential harm letting it stay on the November ballot than in delaying it for a future vote. Draper responded via Facebook, saying "Whether you agree of not with this initiative, this is not the way democracies are supposed to work."
— Initiated by J.W.
Vote here: Did the California Supreme Court protect or subvert the democratic process in preventing Cal 3/Prop 9 from being on the November, 2018 ballot?
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Comment: Gerry Gold, 06-01-2019
Draper has been an amazingly successful VC- Skype, Hot Mail, Tesla, Tazos, etc. But this is more of a populist issue and it probably would have gotten more traction had it not been the initiative of a Silicon Valley 1/10 of 1%er. Then the CA population would likely have been outraged about not having the opportunity to vote- regardless of the outcome. Where is Tom Steyer when we need him?
Proposed solution: Tony Fish, 05-25-2019
It must be about an informed question first. Looking across the seas at Brexit. It was not wrong to ask, but wrong to ask the wrong question and not provide debate, evidence, facts or implications. People can vote for anything but it makes it valuable when they know what and why.
Proposed solution: Wilbur Savage, 05-23-2019
The Cal Assembly should accept the results of this poll as to whether to allow CAL 3 back on the next election. If the votes are recorded on the blockchain and identity verified then they should count as at least as credible as a petition. Does anyone know if those features are in Rhubarb yet?
Comment: Naveed Khan, 05-16-2019
The first step is for all Californian's to vote if breaking of California is needed for better governance. Better Governance is the only criterion that should form the basis of break up. Its up to the proponents of the proposal to convince the majority that creation of 2 or 3 California states would result in better governance and lowering of administrative cost. For example, we must do away with California Senate.
Proposed solution: Dana Shultz, 05-02-2019
Such a sweeping change implicitly is a constitutional revision, which may be proposed only by the legislature or a state constitutional convention; revisions may not
be approved through the initiative process.
Comment: TulasiKrishna Inturi, 05-02-2019
Administration would be efficient and fast with small geographical regions
Comment: Barb "Teachblade" Reynolds, 04-30-2019
A Vote for the C3 Initiative - by at least 600,000 Citizens - favoring consideration of the efficacy of dividing California into 3 states -- does not translate into a foregone conclusion without the requisite Judicial Review and US Congressional approval. Hence, assuming Democracy is still operative - the ballot initiative would have assured - minimally 600,000 Citizens - that their interests in C3 would be considered with no loss to the Court's nor State's authorities. (Ballot Initiative status would have simply ensured the "can is kicked down the road" and 600,000 Citizens' interests - were not waylaid - which indeed was the result). As it stands - the Court's and State's "In-Run" has all the markings of an Authoritarian edit. Having allowed instead - the C3 Initiative on the ballot - still would have retained the requisite "checks and balances" in the vetting process (as to logistics - opposing views - and even any possible workarounds). In a historical "First" - the State of California and the Court (in "a case of first impression") appear to have prematurely showed its authoritarian heavy hand and waylaid democracy in the process. However, the American Appellate Process - still appears to be in place and retaining its "red-white and blue" colors.
Reply: Barb "Teachblade" Reynolds, 04-30-2019
I reviewed some insightful language from a July 18, 2018 Article on the subject of removal of the question of splitting up CA from the ballot -- by Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy -- and she makes some major points -- that Prop 9 (as it was called) was removed because of "a substantial question" raised about the essence of the validity of splitting up the state. That's huge and would take time to hear all sides. Further, that "confusion and hardship" would abound from trying to unravel validity After the initiative was on the ballot and voted upon. Given that bent, the Court decided on the side of caution.
Reply: Barb "Teachblade" Reynolds, 04-30-2019
The Ilya Somin Article also says the C3 issue can be placed on the ballot in time for 2020 if all else is equal. Even so Congress would have to agree before it being effectuated. Is such a political split and the costs and logistics involved – be legally permissible use of the “initiative process” - is another big question because C3 isn't talking about a minor question - but a major one -- revision of the Constitution and not a mere "amendment" and therefore could not be done by referendum.
Reply: George Maxwell, 05-01-2019
As I recall, they permanently banned it from ever going on the ballot again.
Reply: Barb "Teachblade" Reynolds, 04-30-2019
The Ilya Somin Article also says the C3 issue can be placed on the ballot in time for 2020 if all else is equal. Even so Congress would have to agree before it being effectuated. Is such a political split and the costs and logistics involved – be legally permissible use of the “initiative process” - is another big question because C3 isn't talking about a minor question - but a major one -- revision of the Constitution and not a mere "amendment" and therefore could not be done by referendum.
Comment: Sophia Gomez, 04-11-2019
I'd be interested to see a Rhubarb about the actually Cal3 as well. Seems there might be some decent compromise solutions that don't require breaking up the state- like maybe the formation of regional government bodies to deal with healthcare, taxes etc... The state could ceed certain powers and provide a testing ground like a sandbox to them without altering the constitution or citizen rights it would seem.
Proposed solution: Robert monkey, 03-20-2019
The court acted on behalf of the politicians in California who do not want to lose their power, and with complete disregard of the rights and opinions of voters. This is the inevitable result of the one party government that controls California for its own benefit. It's why getting this initiative on the ballot is so important.
Comment: Brenda Cherry, 08-23-2018
Supreme courts have a lot of discreation in these types of rulings. They probably were on solid ground-- but seems political and very undemocratic.
Proposed solution: Sopia Justice, 08-20-2018
increase autonomy to the regions via regional government agencies that can deal with the unique problems of each area- then allocate a greater portion of tax revenues to these agencies to apply to their own regions.. The agencies/ councils could also have some voting mechanism that would impose policy on the state govt. CA would stay CA but with better regional representation and accountability.
Comment: Dev Annanda, Advocate for Cal 3 Initiative right to the ballot, 08-10-2018
Personally glad I don't live in California now.
Reply: Lisa Santos, 08-12-2018
Seems pretty undemocratic even though I don't think it would win the vote for other reasons.
Proposed solution: Cheryl Black, 08-04-2018
Delay Cal 3 until November 2020, The signatures should stand and Draper shouldn't have to collect them again. I am also very uneasy about the vote rigging that we don't know how to stop.
Comment: George Maxwell, 08-04-2018
Anyone who witnessed the absolute shambles of Brexit would naturally be leery of such a huge change. We are still discovering all the ways in which the course of democracy was perverted, and how Fake News (real fake news) caused people to vote based on false premises. Many people truly did not understand the real-world consequences of their vote. Breaking the state up isn't like legalizing pot - the consequences are far-reaching, from changing in and out- of-state tuition, to how the sewers work, to tax headaches over new boundaries. I really hesitated over my vote, because I do in fact agree with Mr. Draper that if a democratic process is in place (so many votes get a proposition added to the ballot) then it should be honored. BUT we are in strange and dangerous times, where almost unlimited amounts of money can actually change the will of the people. I believe that this proposal needs to be shelved until we have a handle on abusive technology and social media.
Reply: Dev Annanda, 08-04-2018
So you think the Ca Supreme Courts were right or wrong or overreaching in their decision? The question is really should the public decide these issues or the government in the form of the courts
Reply: Barb "Teachblade" Reynolds, 04-30-2019
Ilya Somin’s July 2018 Article further states - On the flip side, what are any damages if voters had been allowed to vote and the matter went into later challenges? The upshot of the Article is that the Court got it wrong -- that "the potential harm of delaying a valid vote seems greater than any harm likely to come from holding an invalid one that would need to strike down - after the fact, if it passes." She further stated that "Californians will not get to vote on partitioning the state until at least 2020, if ever." On the question of – appeal of the decision (to not put C3 on the ballot) – that question doesn’t appear to be answered anywhere - from my research I’ve reviewed. All my reading talks about an appeal process if - an initiative got on the ballot - and was passed and then struck down. However, when the matter never saw the ballot, the appellate court would have nothing to appeal from because it never got into the arena of judicial review. Moreover, if the lower court struck it down and it never made it to ballot – then it’s questionable if a higher court is going to disturb the lower court’s decision that they threw it out. C3 never went anywhere.
Reply: George Maxwell, 05-01-2019
What I read - and forgive me, it's been a while - indicated that the decision hinged on the constitutionality of using the Constitution to essentially destroy the Constitution. I believe the final decision was that it would not be on the 2020 ballot, or any future ballot. I have extremely mixed feelings about this. However, I stand by my original thought that desperate times call for desperate measures, and misinformation is and malign influence is at an all-time high. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.
Comment: James Bryant, 08-03-2018
Are their any questions about the legality/constitutionality of the court's ruling? Would there be any appeal to the US Supreme Court if so? I'm assuming that would be highly unlikely.but Im not a legal scholar.
Reply: Dev Annanda, Advocate for Cal 3 Initiative right to the ballot, 08-08-2018
Not sure but it would be good to get a qualified lawyer or judge to opine
Proposed solution: James Bryant, 08-03-2018
It seems to me they could have use a different method of division than reconstituting the state. Perhaps they could try a new amendment that decentralizes power into the regions and allows greater autonomy of each region to govern and fund the unique needs of each region?
Reply: George Maxwell, 08-04-2018
This worked relatively well in the UK where Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have some autonomy. Did not work so well for Scotland, at least, in terms of Brexit.
Comment: Grover Yancy, 08-03-2018
Essentially Draper was claiming the house was on fire. The Supreme Court's response was to turn up the AC and see if it cools off after awhile.
Reply: Barb "Teachblade" Reynolds, 04-30-2019
Where is the A/C presumably left by the Supreme Court for Draper -- albeit good metaphor? This wasn't just Draper's voice -- but over a half million voters who signed to get the initiative on the ballot. A Silicon Valley project by definition - constitutes some independent thinkers without sychophants.
Proposed solution: Grover Yancy, 08-03-2018
Cal 3, Prop 9 doesn't have the urgency to pass - either the courts or likely the vote- although no one knows now how the discussion and debate might have evolved. Draper and others like him that want to radially change CA will have to wit for a greater crisis.> California might be a train wreck, but its a slow motion train wreck and the public/courts will need more urgency to act. The Court as much as admitted that in their decision.
Comment: Grover Yancy, 08-03-2018
The vote would essentially be a discovery process of public opinion and an expression of collective free speech. It should have been allowed to go forward regardless of its chance of passage or possible conflicts with technical legal/constitutional issues. Constitutions are never meant to restrict free speech and public will- they're meant to protect them.
Reply: Dev Annanda, 08-04-2018
interesting perspective but you're right It would be preferable to know how the public felt then if there's a majority in favor, work with legislators to work out a plan-whether it's a division into new states, power and governance sharing by region, or some new process that addresses California's very real and growing problems.
Proposed solution: Dev Annanda, 08-03-2018
So, why not provide that all three new states would be required to retain the original Constitution? That creates constitutional continuity while also making progressing to a better system of governance - but with well established Constitutional protections. As such the 3 states would have both autonomy and independence in areas where both count.

Here's the crux. From Slate: The Supreme Court said it usually allows Californians to vote on ballot measures before assessing any constitutional challenges. However, in this case, the justices noted that there were “significant questions regarding the proposition’s validity” and argued that the “hardships from permitting an invalid measure to remain on the ballot outweigh the harm potentially posed by delaying a proposition to a future election.”

The biggest question swirling around Proposition 9—and other measures like it—is whether California voters have the authority to break up the state, thereby abolishing its constitution and existing laws in the process of creating new states. It is also unclear whether Proposition 9 counts as a revision to the California constitution, which cannot be implemented through a ballot initiative. Instead, constitutional changes require receiving approval from two-thirds of the state’s legislature before securing a spot on the ballot.
Reply: James Bryant, 08-03-2018
Novel idea. Wonder if they considered that.
Comment: Aleksandr Shpulin, 08-02-2018
then he and the court to make such decisions and not listen to anyone
Comment: Hakan Çalik, 08-02-2018
I actually think the suggestion is a very sensible idea ...
Proposed solution: Endar Fernandes, 08-01-2018
hopefully california has always been a safe country and more concerned with its people in every decisions taken.