The sponsor of the "Cal 3" initiative to divide California into three states asked the State Supreme Court on Friday to dismiss a lawsuit demanding that the proposal be withdrawn from the vote in November.
Tim Draper, a venture capitalist who provided more than $ 1.7 million to support the initiative, said in a letter to the court that there was not enough time to properly assess the legal challenge for his efforts.
He said he was not properly served with the lawsuit and given less time to respond.
"I was only given a day or two to respond to a complex, multi-faceted attack on my constitutional right of initiative," Draper wrote. "The long history of this court, which is diligently guarding the exercise of initiative, should not be ignored now, especially on such a shortened schedule."
OBJECTS OF THE PROPOSED CALIFORNIA BREAK SUE TO PULL IT BALLOT
The Planning and Conservation League, an environmental group, filed the lawsuit on Monday arguing that Draper's plan was beyond the scope of an initiative, as it would drastically change the California government and constitutional framework.
"The dislocation and disruption caused by something so grand can not be underestimated," said Carlyle Hall, a lawyer working on the lawsuit. "That will not make things better."
"The dislocation and disruption caused by something so big can not be underestimated, it will not make things any better."
The initiative could harm the environment if California's strong environmental protection were abolished and replaced by something weaker, which could happen if the state were split, Hall said.
Draper argued that the measure "Cal 3" does not go beyond what an initiative can achieve. If adopted by the electorate, it would only be the first step in dividing the state, he said.
The Cal 3 Initiative would break the state in Northern California, California, and Southern California.
Passing the ballot box is only the first hurdle.
The move then instructs the governor to ask the US Congress for final approval – probably a big task.
If Congress were to give the green light, it would be up to the state legislature to determine exactly how the split would happen, including dividing public debt.
Each of the three states would determine its own governance structure.
Proponents of the division of California argue that the country's most populous state has become ungovernable due to its size, prosperity, and geographic diversity.
CALIFORNIA – THREE STATES & # 39; PLAN OK & # 39; D FOR NOVEMBER BALLOT
Michael Salerno, law professor at the University of California, Hastings, described the proposal as profound if it was approved.
"It would not surprise me if the court voted that," he said.
Although California, as it exists today, is highly democratic, the newly proposed Southern California could not be. Democrats only have a small registration advantage over Republicans in this region.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.