The Progressive Left Becomes State Rights Advocates. Who'd Have Thought?

Many libertarians like state's rights because it creates 50 different tax and regulator regimes, and libertarians assume that people and businesses will flow to the most free states.  However, California progressives have discovered they like state's rights as well, though they are in more of the antebellum South Carolina category of desiring state's rights in order to be less free than the Federal government allows.

After a bid to launch a California secession movement failed in April, a more moderate ballot measure has been approved, and its backers now have 180 days to attain nearly 600,000 signatures in order to put it up to vote in the 2018 election.

The Yes California movement advocated full-on secession from the rest of the country, and it gained steam after Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2016. However, as the Sacramento Bee noted, that attempt failed to gather the signatures needed and further floundered after it was accused of having ties to Russia.

But as the Los Angeles Times reported this week:

On Tuesday afternoon, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s office released an official title and summary for the initiative, now called the ‘California Autonomy From Federal Government’ initiative.

The new measure that seeks to set up an advisory commission to inform California’s governor on ways to increase independence from the federal government. It would reportedly cost $1.25 million per year to fund “an advisory commission to assist the governor on California’s independence plus ‘unknown, potentially major, fiscal effects if California voters approved changes to the state’s relationship with the United States at a future election after the approval of this measure,’” the Los Angeles Times reported.

With Becerra’s approval, its backers can now seek the nearly 600,000 signatures required to place the measure on the 2018 ballot.

As the outlet explained:

The initiative wouldn’t necessarily result in California exiting the country, but could allow the state to be a ‘fully functioning sovereign and autonomous nation’ within the U.S.’”

According to the Attorney General’s official document on the measure, it still appears to advocate secession as the ultimate goal — even if it doesn’t use the term outright.“Repeals provision in California Constitution stating California is an inseparable part of the United States,” the text explains, noting that the governor and California congress members would be expected “to negotiate continually greater autonomy from federal government, up to and including agreement establishing California as a fully independent country, provided voters agree to revise the California Constitution.”


  1. Griz Hebert:

    Progressives want it all, and they want it right now.

  2. Dan Wendlick:

    But of course, since this is California, it comes back in a twisted looking-glass form: "The Federal government refuses to oppress us enough, so we are demanding the right to further oppress ourselves."

  3. kidmugsy:

    The slave owners of the South were against States Rights while their men controlled the Union.

  4. The_Big_W:

    Yep, I love how progressives think picking and choosing what laws to follow is a good idea. They fail to conceive of the fact that others who don't believe as they do will pick and entirely different set of laws to not follow...

  5. CapitalistRoader:

    “The initiative wouldn’t necessarily result in California exiting the country, but could allow the state to be a ‘fully functioning sovereign and autonomous nation’ within the U.S.’”

    Does that autonomy mean that the federal government could charge CA 5¢/gallon for the 4.40 million acre·feet/year CA takes from the CO River?

  6. cc:

    This is a very curious ballot measure. I am all in favor of california going crazy with their regulations as long as they don't strongarm the rest of the country to go along (like with vehicle mileage and emissions standards). They provide a great controlled experiment to see what happens when government is too heavy-handed. But: they are inciting a constitutional crisis because there is no such thing as a " ‘fully functioning sovereign and autonomous nation’ within the U.S.’” What that says is that they would be not subject to federal laws, though they still want federal money to build their bullet train, fed $ for air traffic control and coast guard, fed $ for national defence, fed $ for the water they import, fed $ for the EPA and fish and wildlife and forest service to run things within the state. They are so innumerate and illiterate and emotional that they miss the big picture entirely. Is this all about illegal immigrants? Or do they resent that they don't have enough direct control of the people in calif? They certainly have plenty of direct control.

  7. johnmoore:

    Don't worry - they won't be consistent about this. Progressives are completely unprincipled, or more accurately, they have one principle: anything that leads to their goals is okay, and nothing else is. Rules are to be broken unless they are by profressives.

  8. Blackbeard:

    Without California the US would be firmly center right. I, for one, would welcome that experiment.