Calexit Movement Files Ballot Initiative, Will California Secede From The United States?

Calexit supporters filed a proposal to have a secession measure put on the state ballot in 2018. The Yes California Independence Campaign must garner at least half a million signatures before the state attorney general will allow the measure to appear on the ballot.

The Calexit movement began before the 2016 presidential election but grew after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. If the Calexit ballot measure passes, the legislation would remove language from the state constitution that places substantial obstacles to secession, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The single sentence the Calexit ballot measure must eliminate to move forward with the secession movement reads as follows.

“The State of California is an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.”

Even if the Yes California Independence Campaign succeeds in getting the Calexit measure on the ballot and it passes, they still may not be able to secede from the United States of America. Under current federal law, no state holds the right to secede from the republic.

For Calexit to become a reality, California supporters would have to pass an amendment to the United States Constitution as well, Business Insider notes. Passing an amendment to the Constitution requires approval from all 49 other states.

The proposed Calexit ballot measure would also serve to gauge secession interest among California voters. If a majority of the voters in the state declare their support of a Brexit-style move, a special election would then be held on the matter. The special election would not be held until March of 2019. Voters would once again be asked if they wanted California to secede from the union.

Yes California Independence Campaign President Louis Marinelli described the Calexit ballot measure and following special election as a “double opt-in” process.

“I think that we’ve seen — in my lifetime — a gradual, but steady deterioration of the system and the health of the republic, basically. I think that at one point or another, it’s going to crumble,” Marinelli said. “I think a lot of Californians just came to that realization.”

The Calexit movement leader warned Americans that if a controversial candidate like Donald Trump could win, the presidential nominees who follow him may further push the envelope. After Barack Obama won the White House in 2008, many conservatives had the same worries about electing a man many felt was exceedingly liberal and had socialist leanings.

“Who are they going to elect next time? I think the people in California would certainly not like to find out, personally,” Louis Marinelli added. “So, let’s get out of that system so we can elect fair-minded, rational politicians to office.”

Last year, Marinelli paid $200 each time he tried to get California secession measures on the ballot, the Los Angeles Times reports. None of the nine initiatives reportedly garnered the approximately 400,000 valid voter signatures required to be placed on the ballot.

Shervin Pishevar has been noted as one of the Calexit movement’s earliest and most prominent backers. Pishevar is a venture capitalist and the co-founder of Hyperloop One. On election night, he tweeted that he would soon be “announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation” if Donald Trump won the race.

“It’s the most patriotic thing I can do. The country is at serious crossroads,” Shervin Pishevar said, according to a CNBC report. “We can re-enter the union after California becomes a nation. As the sixth largest economy in the world, the economic engine of the nation and provider of a large percentage of the federal budget, California carries a lot of weight.”

Pishevar also described his plan for the future of California by noting the state would become a catalyst for “national dialogue.”

The Silicon Valley investor has since drastically walked back his comments about California becoming its own nation.

“In the heat of election night, I didn’t adequately or precisely describe my new thinking. I do not believe in secession – nor will I ever. I never used that term. I love this country and everything it has to offer,” Pishevar said.

If the Calexit measure gets on the ballot and passes, California voters would still have to vote in favor of secession in near record numbers. A total of 55 percent of registered voters must participate in the election, with 50 percent of them voting to leave the United States of America.

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