“California’s Supreme Court can kill Cal-3 quickly and save us all a lot of trouble”

I have written this oped for the LA Times. It begins:

The Cal-3 ballot measure set to be voted on in November needs a mercy killing from the California Supreme Court, and if it comes fast enough, it could save a lot of expense and wasted effort.

The proposition, designed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into three states, may or may not be the most sensible way to divide up our diverse and powerful state. But the legal barriers to its enactment are overwhelming.

For example, will Congress, which must approve the creation of new states out of an old one, go along, given the partisan politics of everything these days and the impact of four new senators on the balance of power in the U.S. Senate? Will consent of the state Legislature be required (and forthcoming), or would voter approval through the initiative process suffice?

The legal fate of the initiative will probably never even get to questions of legislative approval. One way or another, the California Supreme Court will be called upon, and it will almost certainly rule that the way in which Draper is trying to create three Californias violates the state Constitution and has no place on the ballot to begin with.

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