Legal Insurrection readers and authors were recently having a robust discussion on the the British exit from the European Union and its potential impact on the U.S.

Perhaps the biggest #Brexit effect with be on state independence movements. For example, Louis J. Marinelli, a Californian political activist and leader of the California independence movement, is using the European developments to drive a harder push to have California split from the United States.

His dream of seeing a free, independent California Republic was buoyed by Thursday’s shock result of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union—known as Brexit. Marinelli, president of the “Yes California” movement, was inspired by the Brexit vote, as “Leave” supporters in England and Wales overwhelmed “Remain” backers in Scotland and Northern Ireland—prompting discussions of whether Scotland will hold another referendum to leave the U.K behind and retain EU membership.

All Friday, Marinelli and “Yes California” were busy tweeting and interacting with people musing about a California exit—or Calexit.

The move already has quite a few proponents:

I am shocked, shocked….that so many of my fellow Americans are chomping at the bit to jettison the Golden State!

However, before anyone gets too excited about the prospect, the date set for a potential vote is far into the future. The initiative is aimed for November 2020, and would begin the process of severing California from the union.

Marinelli explains that the importance of the Brexit vote is that it shows secession isn’t just a relic of the 19th century.

“This is an example of an independence movement occurring in the Western world, a modern-day, 21st century [case] of a political entity seceding from a political union,” he said. “And so now Californians who hear the word ‘secession,’ they don’t have to think of the Civil War any more. Now they have a modern day example of how it can happen peacefully and legally and constitutionally, and that’s the path and process we intend to mimic here in California.”

He disputes the contention that secession is illegal under the U.S. Constitution, citing the 1869 Supreme Court case Texas v. White, which held that states cannot break away from the union unilaterally.

“The story out there is that states can’t secede, but they can. The problem is they can’t secede unilaterally,” said Mr. Marinelli. “You can’t just declare yourself independent. But if you get the consent of the other states, and there’s a way to do that through the amendment process, then you can do that legally and peacefully.”

I don’t recall such a passion for state secession expressed ever before in my memory, and I wonder if this is what it was like in 1860. That there is such excitement over the possibility of cutting ties with the rest of the nation demonstrates how little the average Americans trusts Washington D.C. politicos and bureaucrats, especially after 8 years of Obama’s domination over a a weak Congress.

There is one big difference between Brexit and Calexit. Britain is leaving a group that is comprised of different cultures, languages, and history. For example, most E.U. members don’t get the importance of a high quality tea kettle.

California’s culture and experiences are very closely tied to the rest America’s. (Well, mostly.)

However, it might be wise to prepare myself for life as a Legal Insurrection foreign correspondent.


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