- The California Supreme Court decided to remove Proposition 9 from the November ballot on Wednesday.
- Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper had sponsored the measure to split California into three states.
- The court said that “significant” questions over the validity of Proposition 9 had been raised.
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to remove from the November ballot a measure proposing the state be divided into three.
The court said that “significant” questions over the validity of Proposition 9 had been raised and concluded “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,” according to The Los Angeles Times.
Proposition 9, backed by Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper, had pushed the longtime effort to split California into three states: Northern California, California, and Southern California.
In June the proposal qualified for the November ballot after an ambitious campaign called Cal 3, financial backing from Draper, and more than 402,468 valid signatures from supporters.
“The concept of breaking this enormous state into smaller, more manageable states is not new,” Draper, an early investor in Tesla, Skype, and Hotmail, told the court in written arguments, The Los Angeles Times reported.
He added: “In fact, the voters of California were asked to, and did approve, the Pico Act in 1859, which asked Congress to approve splitting the state into two.
“Congress never acted on that request, as it might not do if Proposition 9 is approved.”
If Proposition 9 had made it to the ballot, the plan would have needed approval from both houses of the California legislature and be approved by the US Congress before being put into place.
Supporters of the Three States Initiative had argued that California isn’t fairly represented with just two senators in Washington, DC, representing more than 39 million people.
The proposal would have given the people of California six senators – two representing each new state.
Critics, meanwhile, have argued that the split would diminish the power of Democrats in the state, which has long been a stronghold for the Democratic Party.
This is the third time Draper has tried to propose breaking up California. He backed proposals in 2012 and 2014 to create six states out of California, but neither initiative received enough valid signatures to appear on a ballot.
In 2016, an effort called Calexit attempted to split California from the United States.
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