The state Supreme Court Wednesday removed an initiative from the November ballot that would split California into three states.

The high court blocked Proposition 9, 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.

“Apparently, the insiders are in cahoots and the establishment doesn’t want to find out how many people don’t like the way California is being governed,” Draper said. “They are afraid to know the answer as to whether we need a fresh start here in California.

“It is a sad state that they have to resort to having six lawyers (who would probably have lost their jobs with Cal3) silence the 600,000 voters who signed the petition. And that tens of millions of voters won’t have a chance to make this decision.

“The whole point of the initiative process was to be set up as a protection from a government that was no longer representing its people. Now that protection has been corrupted.

“Whether you agree or not with this initiative, this is not the way democracies are supposed to work. This kind of corruption is what happens in third world countries.

Said Carlyle Hall, an attorney representing the Planning and Conservation League: “We believe is clear that a ballot initiative may not revise the constitution by making changes in the basic framework of government and there can be no greater change our framework of government than the total abolition of our existing constitution.”

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.”

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