California Dreaming: Calexit campaign gets legal boost

Global Business

A campaign for California to become its own country — outside the U.S. — has received a big legal boost. It comes as millions protest against President Donald Trump’s policies.

CGTN’s Phil Lavelle reports.

California Dreaming: Calexit campaign gets legal boost

This is a long road — and that potential exit is way off. But the movement to make it happen is very real. The United States is not so united right now. Perhaps it will be even less so in the future.

“California Nationhood Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute” is a long name. So it’s known by a shorter and catchier name: “CalExit.”

In other words, California breaks away from the U.S. and becomes its own country. It is a far-fetched idea. But it’s seeing some legal movement.

There are lots of unhappy people in this state right now. People at Los Angeles’ LAX Airport at the weekend were furious over Donald Trump’s travel ban. Many said he’s not their President.He won’t be, if California becomes its own nation.

However, this is a long process. Here’s what happened: California’s Secretary of State has now given approval for organizers to start getting signatures. But they have to get more than half a million of them by the end of July.

Don Sutton, a supporter of “Yes California” campaign, has confidence in themselves. “We’re a nation within a nation. We have the financial, economic and diverse background to actually succeed as a nation on our own and there is a lot of quiet support for this,” he said.

If they get those signatures, there’s a ballot which could lead to a change in the state constitution. Then, there would be a possible vote where Californians are asked: “Do you want to leave?” But that’s only part one.

If California votes “YES”, part two comes in Washington D.C. Support is needed both in the House and Senate, and plus the ratification by two-thirds of U.S. states, which leads to an obvious question:Is this ever realistically going to happen?

“I think it’s very unlikely. Only 33 percent of Californians favor this at the moment and I think that’s likely to go down as the downsides of secession are revealed. Also, where does it stop If California leaves, what about Oregon, Washington or the state of New York,” Prof. Tom Hogen-esch from California State University Northridge said.

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy, with California’s economy being the 11th largest, based on World Bank and IMF data. “So that means if you take California out of the federal budget, the deficit is going to explode,” said Jesse David from Edgeworth Economics.

This is a long road — and that potential, hypothetical exit is way off. But the movement to make it happen is very real.