Jul 18, 2018

Go deeper: Court blocks measure to split California into 3 states

Proposal to split California into three states. Screenshot via CBS News YouTube.

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the removal of a radical November ballot measure seeking to divide the Golden State into three new jurisdictions, reports the Los Angeles Times.

[B]ecause significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity and because we conclude 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.
— The court said, per the Times

The backdrop: The proposal to split California into three states — Northern California, California, and Southern California — qualified Tuesday for the November 6 ballot in June. Each new state would have a population between 12.3 million and 13.9 million, per the initiative’s website.

  • If approved, it would have been the first division of an existing U.S. state since the formation of West Virginia in 1863, reports the Times. But the measure would also need approval from the state Legislature and Congress to divide California, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
  • Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, sponsored the “Cal 3” initiative, writing that "vast parts of California are poorly served by a representative government dominated by a large number of elected representatives from a small part of our state, both geographically and economically."
    • Draper failed to get a proposal seeking to divide California into six states on the ballot in 2014.

Timing: This comes a week after the Sacramento-based environmental nonprofit, Planning and Conservation League, filed a suit urging the court to block the measure because it’s too drastic and it would need approval from two-thirds of both houses of the state’s Legislature before going to voters for consideration.

  • The group's attorney, Carlyle Hall, told BuzzFeed News the state's ballot process was created to pass statutes and constitutional amendments, not to "break up the existing constitution and start over again."
  • The Times reports that the court has also agreed Wednesday to issue a ruling on the lawsuit.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 30 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins