Split California into six states?

A measure that proposes to split California into six states–since the one has so much diversity that it is “ungovernable”–is actually making headway, with officials giving permission to start getting signatures on a petition to put it to a vote.  They only need just over 800,000 signatures.  I’d think they could get that in California.  The six states would be Silicon Valley, South California, West California, Central California, North California, and Jefferson (in the northernmost part of the state).

I’m curious about the constitutional ramifications of this project.  Can states just split apart like that, and if they do, would the U.S. Congress have to accept them into the union?   I guess secession is pretty much out of the question, thanks to the Civil War.  But if California were to split into six states, this would give the region 12 senators, probably from 8 to 10 of whom would be Democrats.  If this happens, Republicans might need to talk Texas into a similar division.

From Plan to split California into six states gains ground – Yahoo News:

A plan to divide California into six separate US states is closer to making it on to a November ballot, with organizers gaining approval to collect signatures.

The seemingly far-fetched initiative, sponsored by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, claims “political representation of California’s diverse population and economies has rendered the state nearly ungovernable.”

And on Tuesday, the California Secretary of State’s office gave the movement a boost, saying that proponents “may begin collecting petition signatures.”

At least 807,615 voters — representing eight percent of the total ballots cast for governor in the 2010 election — will need to sign the petition by July 18 to make it on to the ballot.

The proposal aims to split the state — America’s most populous with around 38 million inhabitants — into “six smaller state governments, while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns.” . . .

The proposal would create a state out of Silicon Valley, home to tech giants Google, Facebook and Apple. It would also create South California, which would include Hollywood and the US entertainment industry.

West California, Central California, North California, and Jefferson in the most northern part of the state, would also go it alone.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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