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California Supreme Court blocks referendum on splitting state

The ballot initiative to divide California into three separate states has hit a roadblock at the state Supreme Court, which on Wednesday ordered the initiative taken off the November ballot, saying “significant questions” have been raised about its validity. The court is considering a challenge to the measure brought by the environmentalist group Planning and Conservation League, which argues ballot initiatives can’t change a state’s government structure so drastically. State officials had agreed in June to put the question up to a vote, after it had gathered more than 420,000 legitimate signatures from Californians.