LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The state Supreme Court today removed an initiative from the November ballot that would split California into three states, putting Los Angeles County into one state and Orange County into another.
The high court blocked the measure, citing ``significant questions ... regarding the proposition's validity.''The initiative, backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, was challenged in court by the Planning and Conservation League environmental group. With the measure pulled from the November ballot, the court is expected to now fully consider the group's legal challenge. If the court ultimately rejects the challenge, the initiative could still potentially appear on a future ballot.
Under Draper's initiative, California would be split into three states. One proposed state would be called California or a name to be chosen by its residents after a split. It would consist of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties. A second state, Southern California or a name to be chosen by its residents, would consist of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera and Mono counties.
The remaining 40 counties would be part of the state of Northern California or a name chosen by its residents.
Draper said he conceived the initiative out of a belief that ``the citizens of the whole state would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns.''