Protesters in LA might support California Calexit.

California Calexit: Will Secession Ballot Let California Secede From U.S. And Create California Nation?

California Calexit organizers have successfully convinced the California government to allow them to gather the signatures necessary to present a secession ballot in the 2018 election that would call for a 2019 vote to secede from the United States, creating a California nation. According to the Associated Press, this already existing secessionist movement began gathering steam the moment Donald Trump was elected to the White House.

Almost one-third of all Californians currently support the idea of a California Calexit in which they would secede from the United States. As with the Brexit vote in the U.K., it’s quite possible that active campaigning by the initiative’s organizers could increase this percentage significantly.

California Great Seal to be national seal after California Calexit?
California Great Seal to be national seal after California Calexit? [Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

As reported by USA Today, part of the purpose of the Calexit ballot initiative is to change the wording of certain clauses in the California Constitution that declare it to be an “inseparable part of the United States” and stating that the United States Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” This would make possible a vote on California seceding from the United States.

California Nationhood Amendment

But even assuming that the ballot initiative is successful and that a resulting secession vote for a California Calexit is “Yes,” there would still be obstacles to actually achieving a separate California nation. One of the principal problems is that the rest of the country has a say in whether California can actually do this or not.

For California to secede from the United States in a Calexit, a California Nationhood Amendment to the Constitution would have to be passed by the United States Congress and ratified by 38 states. This might seem like a fairly high hurdle – and it is. But people thought Brexit was unlikely to happen as well.

Trump Hollywood Star defaced, showing potential California Calexit support.
Trump Hollywood Star defaced, showing potential for California Calexit support. [Image by David McNew/Getty Images]

But as one of the organizers of the Calexit ballot initiative has pointed out, many of the people living in states that elected Donald Trump don’t like California or Californians, often wishing the state would fall into the sea. So a California Calexit amendment to the Constitution might just be something they can get on board with.

Of course, once California – which contributes almost $300 billion to the federal budget in taxes and receives much less in return – is gone, many of those people in red states might wonder what happened to all of their federal funding. Most Trump supporters seem to believe that they prop up California, instead of the other way round.

All the Bureaucratic Details

There would be – in the event of a successful California Calexit initiative – endless details that would have to be worked out between the United States government and the newly minted nation of California. For instance, what would happen to the Social Security fund? Would California get back those sums that it contributed to the fund, or some percentage based on its population? Or would they still use the existing Social Security program?

An agreement might be worked out where California citizens would still have access to the United States Social Security fund, in the same way that expatriates can live in Mexico and still get their check. But Medicare and Medicaid would also have to be transferred to California.

In the aftermath of a successful California Calexit, there would be the issue of a California military – assuming California wanted one at all. Given that California would be bordered by the ocean and otherwise surrounded by a country that presumably would not invade it, military expenditures might be unnecessary.

Yes, a California Calexit vote in the affirmative is highly unlikely. This is especially the case because the secession of California to form its own separate nation would also require the passage of the aforementioned constitutional amendment that might never make it out of committee, let alone see ratification by 38 states. Still, the odds have increased significantly since the election of Donald Trump – and are only likely to rise as Donald Trump’s antics continue in the coming months.

[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

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