Calexit: How California & Other States Could Secede After Trump’s Victory

Calexit, secede from the union, California

Voters in California on November 8. (Getty)

Donald Trump may have won the electoral college, but he lost California, the country’s most populous state. While Trump wasn’t expected to win the Golden State, it wasn’t even close in the popular vote there. After the nationwide results came in and Trump was declared the victor over Hillary Clinton, #Calexit became a trend on Twitter, with some calling for California to secede from the Union. In fact, a new poll found that one in three Californians want to secede.

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Is it possible for California to pull that off? The answer is yes, but it can’t just get up and leave the room.

The Supreme Court case Texas v. White (1869) set the ground rules for how a state could leave the Union after the Civil War. In that case, the Texas Reconstruction government argued that the state’s Confederate government illegally sold U.S. bonds during the war. However, the Court ruled that Texas never officially left the Union because states cannot do so unilaterally. In other words, the California state government couldn’t just one day decide to secede from the union and expect the U.S. government to accept that.

Here’s the specific part of Texas v. White relevant to this case:

When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.

The first step to California (or any state for that matter) seceding from the Union is likely a ballot measure for voters. There is already a group called Yes California pushing for a referendum on Californian independence, noting that the state would be the sixth-largest economy in the world if it were its own country.

Getting the referendum on the ballot and winning in an election might be the easiest part of this procedure. As Yes California notes, there are two possible next steps. First, a member of California’s congressional delegation could propose an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow California to leave. The Amendment needs to pass two-thirds of the House and senate and then be approved by at least 38 of 50 states.

A second possible path after a referendum would be California calling for a states convention, where two-thirds of the delegates from 50 states approve it. If it passes, it would still need to be ratified by 38 of the 50 state legislatures.

Even before Trump’s victory became certain, Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar announced that he will seriously fund a campaign for California to “become its own nation.”

The Yes California group also tweeted about their initiative on Wednesday morning.

Not all Californians voted for Clinton. With 100 percent of the votes counted, the Associated Press reported that Clinton received 61 percent of the votes, while Trump received 33 percent. Clinton won 5.4 million votes, while Trump picked up 2.9 million votes, mostly in Northern and Central California counties. Clinton scored overwhelming victories in the cities along the coast, capturing 85.3 percent of the vote in San Francisco County and 71.5 percent of the vote in Los Angeles county.

California popular vote, California election results, Calexit


Thanks to California’s votes, Clinton actually won the popular vote by the thinnest of margins, but lost the electoral college. With 97 percent of the votes in, the Associated Press is reporting that Clinton received 59,196,894 votes to Trump’s 59,033,713. However, Trump received 276 electoral college votes, and Clinton received 218.

According to recent Census estimates, California has an estimated population of 39.1 million people and 38.8 percent of the population is Hispanic. Between 2010 and 2014, the Census estimated that 27 percent of the state’s population was born outside the U.S.

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    • It’s funny that you believe any politician gives a shit about your demographic. You were used as a pawn to get the numbers needed. You will continue to see negative job growth. You will continue to fall down the social ladder. They don’t actually give a shit about you, and never have. That’s the reason you live in areas that haven’t improved in 75 years. Uneducated, ignorant white trash was heard, but will remain ignored. You contribute nothing to our society so you will continue to be rewarded accordingly. You think a real estate mogul from NYC gives a shit about the midwest and south? You’re in for a rude awakening. That infrastructure he talked about, it certainly isn’t going to benefit the rural areas. Best of luck. The blue collar industries are going to need it.

        • truth be told, minus namecalling You think a real estate mogul from NYC gives a shit about the midwest and south? Donald trump should, would need to move to the red south to make a difference there. Donald trump is 2nd generation American, that is immigrant for sure. There is a direct correlation between racism and ignorance. One who uses facts is not considered to be racist or ignorant.

      • Uh, Please look up: ‘racist’, ‘left’, and ‘hypocrisy’. I actually watched the ‘Apprentice’ shows etc, which had their merit if you didn’t mind every single task being on a 3rd grade level, with Trump making completely random decisions usually in favor of white men. But I felt Trump was sincere, and I think the shows were fun for him because they were very much on his level.

    • racist are so in tune to voting against their own interest, California the 6th largest economy in the world could be the first USA sate to pull off a succession, the ultimate states’ rights initiative.

    • kicking the oil companies/fracking out and sending them south would help california become more innovative in protecting it’s water sources. California would have more money to buy clean water rights.,no longer responsible for paying fed tax that ultimately goes to red state south governors or ALEC. California would have it’s own wall street. Capturing snow for water, not fracking,using native plants for food would begin to tackle any water problems-at least California would or could end gop blood baths by keeping them out side ca borders. Also, Ca would have hemp market. Hemp will save california water.

      • And where would you get your oil, power, water, highways, and do not forget protective forces. After CA paus its proportional part of the US debt, and buys the 350 billion in government owned lands now being farmed. You would then have to purchase the federal parks you enjoy. Now you may start to protect your border before invaded by another country. All the while without a drop of water from neighboring states. You would be withering beggars inside of a year. Good luck with that. Especially after 2 in 3 that are against your stupidity leave to live in the U.S.A

  2. Nothing is free. California wouldn’t survive 6 months with out Federal money to subside everything. Good luck and watch that door behind you.

  3. This is why I love California!! Most of California is crying and very upset today. Don’t just call us idiots without understanding the state of California. Today, there was unity between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Muslims. Something that missing in the rest of the country.

  4. Bunch of tit babies, you lost, deal with it. If you try to leave, you will set off a civil war, remember, you fools gave up your guns, what are you idiots going to do? Throw you words at everyone. Unreal.

      • Thank you anonymous. Timothy – what do you mean ‘you lost?’ I didn’t lose. I’m retired and my life in CA is a dream and that idiot Trump can’t do a thing about it. I don’t have a lot of money but don’t need it here in CA. Trump’s election won’t hurt me at all. It’s not myself that worries me but the people in W VA for instance, (where I lived for 6 years) where clear cutting and strip mining have totally destroyed uncountable numbers of acres already, and the peeps in FL where I grew up, who are still struggling with cops who act like Nazi’s, and in Chicago – my original home town, where race wars leave only a minimal number of neighborhoods unscathed – (and btw go Cubs). Every time I leave CA I’m blown away by what feels like stepping into two centuries ago.

    • California inmates produce patriot missiles,army gear and cop essentials. California freed it’s slaves at the same time redstates were feeding into trump’s racism (CA Prop 57/64). What tools will trump use to bomb or police the world,now. California is first in technology. What are redstates first in,racist attitudes? Racism is not a marketable skill, that’s why redstates depend on california to survive. Throw your ill-founded racism out and move into the 21st century,where you have a right to live with only those you tolerate,without using race as an excuse to rob and enslave those you have no tolerance for. Choose technology, not hate, greed and blood shed which profits the selfish 1 % and no-nothings like trump. Educate yourself.

      • Ah poor tit baby, still crying, he is president, hope you live in misery like the rest of us have for the last 8 years having the inept fool Obama in office.
        Education is not the issue, unlike you I have not been indoctrinated, I actually know how to research to find the truth, not try to twist it to fit what I feel it should be like you idiots do.

  5. I lived there for almost 10 years. California is a screwed up place that is flawed up in a lot of ways. I say let them go. We’d all be better off without them!

  6. Oh yes, please do the rest of the country a favor and secede. Can’t imagine any of the other 49 states objecting. In fact maybe we can just give California back to Mexico in exchange for their help building the border wall. 2 birds 1 stone.

  7. Let’s say they succeed, which is not even remotely possible, what will they do, being that they are for open borders, when they can’t control the influx of undocumented (illegal) immigrants and those immigrants decide that the new country should become part of Mexico? Will they immigrate back to the US? Also, what will they do with the rest of us who don’t want this? We won’t stand idly by and allow this to happen. Shows that these people are beyond delusional.

  8. Oh please Oh please secede!!!! I would love nothing more than the assholes in California go on their own. It would not hurt my feelings one bit! Maybe it can just slide off in the Pacific. Taking the Hollywood liberals.

  9. This will change my view on Cali for the rest of my life, #Calexit LET IT HAPPEN! The people of the Great nations have spoken. Cali is so dishonorable to a great free choice, we don’t need that.

  10. There goes your social security checks for millions of Californians………..there goes what’s left of Obamacare………..there goes federal funding for California’s massive freeway system…….unless a bunch of illegal emigrates walking in unchecked through it’s south border are ready to pick up the tab for what is already a shit-hole of a state. Good luck…….California is a welfare state….now it can be a welfare nation. Wouldn’t, it be much easier to just get their fat ass counter parts in the other states to get off the cellulite and vote in four years. LMAO…….at these squealers!!!!!!!!!

  11. Lmao, anyone who thinks this is actually going to happen doesnt understand how laws work. Even the article points out the 2/3 majority needed by either the Union delegates or the Senate- but, why would any state that went red approve of this? And why would congress?

    The only benefit a republican state gets out of this is that the US would pretty much guarantee itself to always be red forever once the 52 free blue votes were gone.

  12. With the Civil War as a precedent, if California tries to leave the Union without permission, the US military will be sent in to California to preserve the Union by force of arms, killing any Californians who get in the way. Wake up to reality Californians, you can’t leave, we own you!!

  13. Moonbats: 45.8% of California is FEDERAL LAND, which means it belongs to the People of the United States of America. It’s a safeguard against traitorous idiots like you.

  14. Wow, reading these comments is painful as a Californian! I don’t think many of you understand that California on its own is the worlds 6th largest economy, let that sink in. We send more taxes to the Federal Govt than we take back in subsidies. You may not like it but we help you, the poorer states like Iowa and Kansas. If you all don’t like us let us leave. We’ll be fine. For those Californians worried about the drought, we already pay for the water from the Colorado River. The federal lands? We buy them. Red states should want us gone so that it makes it easier for republicans to win the presidency. Blue states may let us leave so they can follow suit. For those saying this will be civil war. ….. did you read the article? They are proposing that California takes the legal path to secesion, no violence. We police our border, Californian agents will do the work that federal agents are currently doing. Let’s all get along and calexit?

    • I concur! You’ve earned it. Leave in peace if you must. Perhaps, in 50 years, you can show this flailing economy that YOUR way works and ‘ours’ didn’t. But alas, I must remain behind to grind out the future our government now offers. Good luck, my current fellow-countrymen(women)!

    • Factoring in the cost of living in California your actually the 11th largest economy and yes you could buy the federal land, that is if it were for sale, which it’s not and water from the Colorado River basin might get awfully expensive when you’re no longer part of the United States.

    • Divide your borders accordingly. You don’t speak for your entire state anymore than you speak for the majority of the states in America.

    • Dude you just dont get it, for every dollar you make the uss you get 80 cents back from the fed. Your $.20 is not enough to buy water, pay off your debt, and buy the land you do not own. And with 2/3 of your citizens leaving for the USA you wont ne able to do squat. It’s all a sad fantasy with no basis in fact. GET OVER YOURSELVES.

  15. Here are some of the issues i see with this
    1) What money will they use? Once removed from the US they can no longer use the US dollar for currency
    2) How will they protect them self? Once removed form the US they can no longer us the US defense such as the Army, Navy, or USMC for protection.
    3) How will they ship anything to the US? Once removed from the US the US then can levy import taxes and tariff on them.
    This are just a few questions that need to be asked before they go off like this

  16. You seriously wish to divorce. Please, allow the minorities who voted against you to have ample time to find safe haven as is befitting a minority-loving democratic party and then, yes! Of course, I’ll vote for your right to succession! Be blessed in all your endeavors save any undermining of the USA – though I would doubt such hostility from a neighbor.

  17. You will see that many people will say bad things about CA because they live in the Red areas where the same people live who voted for Trump – and people who vote blindly like that usually do so out of desperation and a total lack of conventional knowledge about parties and politics in general. But I live in the SF area of CA and can hardly stand to leave here anymore; food here is fantastic – even finding edible food is tough in the greater US. And shopping in the bay area of CA is fabulous – sellers are falling all over themselves to please, due to prevailing consumer standards; people will immediately and consistently boycott creepy business people. Working with utility companies and so on is a dream – all they do is take money off my bill all the time because I’m an older person. Hospitals try their hardest to serve all people including the homeless with the best care possible. Cops are far more careful here because the rich sue them for anything and everything. Honestly I feel sure those out there who do not know CA would be transported with happiness very quickly after living out here.

  18. Please, Cali couldnt secced. They rely too much on water from surrounding states. They’d be in a drought if they lost water rights to Lake Mead and other sources from surrounding states. Besides there are ao many factors people dont consider. All the money they paid in to through taxes to government programs like social security and welfare would be lost. Government protection agencies would be lost, funding. . .list goes on and on

  19. there Aint no two thirds of anybody going to vote to let California leave the union, wake up little kids and get a job , this is a stupid inmature subject, study some history , you ignorant little brats you’ll realize what led to the Civil War were hundreds of thousands of people died, no it wasn’t over slavery!

  20. San Andrea fault will work as a natural border –
    like a mote safe guarding the other 47 states
    from the invasion of illegal aliens, gangs,
    terrorist, drug addicts, anarchist and left wing liberals.
    Great idea succession.