(National Sentinel) Calexit: Backers of California secession have figured out there’s no way to legally or constitutionally leave the union without the help of others, so they are changing their strategy.
The Washington Times reports that Calexit backers will now seek to exploit red states’ “hatred” for the Golden State in their bid to convince enough Republican-controlled state legislatures to vote to allow California to leave the union.
“We are going to rely on the deep hatred for California that exists in red America,” Louis Marinelli, a founder of Yes California, the Calexit campaign, told the Times.
is to convince 25 of the 31 Republican-held legislatures to pass “consent to secede” resolutions, then place the question before California voters in the form of a ballot measure, instead of vice versa.
At that point, Calexit would then “come back to California and tell the people: we have the constitutionally required consent to secede, all we have to do now is vote yes,” Marinelli said.
“I think people will be really motivated when it gets to that point, whereas in our previous approach, we could vote yes now but then have to wait for consent of the states,” he said. “That’s kind of a motivation killer.”
But what are the chances for success? And is that option even constitutional?
Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution lays out how states can be admitted and, importantly, how new states can be formed within existing states:
New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.
There are no provisions in the Constitution for seceding from the union, per se.
Now, this section appears to state pretty plainly that acquiring the “consent of the legislatures of the states concerned” would, in this case, mean only the California legislature — because no other states are involved in the partitioning. It does not appear to indicate that consent must be given by states not involved in the partitioning. That leaves the second part of that section as the remaining hurdle: Congressional consent. And frankly, that’s not likely to happen.
So it’s not clear why Marinelli and Calexit backers believe enlisting the support of 25 Republican-led state legislatures is moving this issue further down the road towards success, given that, ultimately, Congress would have to approve.
Another ‘Calexit’ movement, New California, seeks to utilize Article IV, Section 3, as its model, citing the split of West Virginia from Virginia during the Civil War.
But that example is one in the extreme. While there may be some degree of truth to the argument that West Virginia unconstitutionally became a state — and the U.S. Supreme Court has never actually addressed the issue — an 1871 SCOTUS case in which the high court ruled against the State of Virginia in its bid to regain two of its former counties, Berkeley and Jefferson, appeared to settle the issue in a roundabout way.