Acknowledging that the legal and political obstacles are formidable, the proponent of a state ballot measure to sever California's ties with the United States and form its own nation has been cleared to start collecting signatures.
If passed by voters, the measure, "California Nationhood. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statue," would remove language from the state constitution describing California as "an inseparable part of the United States of America" and require the governor to request admission for California to the United Nations.
That would be just the start of a long and arduous path to nationhood.
In order to be eligible for the 2018 ballot, the proponent, Marcus Ruiz Evans, will have to collect 585,407 valid signatures from California voters by July 25.
According to an opinion article he recently wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, Evans said "almost 7,000 volunteers" will collect the signatures — an extremely difficult task without professional signature-gatherers. It's generally believed to cost at least $1.5 million to finance a successful signature-gathering drive of that magnitude. So far, campaign records on file show the Yes California committee has raised no money.