Leader of the California Secession Movement Says a National Divorce Is Necessary

By: Lauren | Last updated: Feb 14, 2024

Over its rich 247-year history, the United States of America has had its fair share of ups and downs, including a nationwide civil war that killed 620,000 Americans.

Today, 159 years after that war ended, Americans are worried another might be on their doorstep. And some political leaders are arguing that in order to stop a seemingly inevitable implosion, certain states, including California, should divorce the United States for good.

What Is the Difference Between Secession and National Divorce?

With the 2024 presidential elections looming, the United States is more divided than ever. It seems that it may once again be Biden vs. Trump, and each candidate appears to have more haters than they do supporters.

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Two women sit and talk, one wearing a Trump sweatshirt and the other, a Biden sweater

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And with the prospect of either man in the Oval Office, there has been a lot of talk about “national divorce” from states such as Texas, California, and New Hampshire. But it’s important to understand that national divorce is just another term for secession.

Can a State Legally Secede?

According to the US Constitution, a state cannot secede from the nation. In fact, Texas tried to do so just after the Civil War in 1869 and was denied by the Supreme Court.

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An 1891 color illustration of the US Civil War; Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet led an assault on General Ambrose Burnside's Union fortifications at Fort Sanders, Tennessee

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But that is not stopping these states from trying anyway. However, in order to successfully separate from the United States, California, Texas, New Hampshire, and whoever else wants to go will not only need the votes, but they’ll also need to fight for the “divorce” in a court of law.

New Hampshire Already Has a Plan

While everyone is talking about Texas and California, the tiny New England state of New Hampshire has been quietly planning its secession from the nation.

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The New Hampshire state seal on a blue background

Source: Wikipedia

Republican representatives of the northern state have already introduced two pieces of legislation, CACR 20 and House Bill 1130. The CACR is an amendment to the Constitution that says NH will leave the USA if the country’s debt amounts to more than $40 trillion. And House Bill 1130 says the state is already studying the legal and economic aspects of “exerting its sovereign rights.”

What’s California’s Plan?

Meanwhile, California is taking a different approach through a grassroots organization called “Yes California.”

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Logo for the Yes California organization, which is fighting for state secession

Source: Wikipedia

“Yes California” was founded in 2015, and now, its members are working on adding a measure called CalExit 3.1 to a future ballot. CalExit explains that the state will essentially break in two, half of which will remain a part of the United States, and the other will be a sovereign entity called Pacifica.

Yes California Founder Louis Marinelli Claims CalExit Will Stop a Civil War

Conservative activist Louis Marinelli founded Yes California in 2015, and he believes it will be necessary to cut the ties between what will be Pacifica and the United States in order to save the country from an internal war.

Louis Marinelli, co-founder of Yes California

Source: YesCalifornia

Marinelli told Newsweek, “So right now, we’re more working on the concept of national divorce as an alternative to potential civil violence and civil war in the country. Our belief is that there’s a lot of growing political violence and political problems in the country that may lead to fighting in the streets, civil war too, some people are calling for. We are trying to propose the idea of potentially doing a national divorce of some sort…to avoid that type of situation.”

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Marinelli Said Now Isn’t the Best Time to Secede

In the same interview, Marinelli explained that while he and his team are working wholeheartedly on getting their plan for part of California to break away on a future ballot, they don’t believe now is the ideal time to secede.

A protester holds a banner reading "War Will Not Just End"

Source: Omer Messinger/Getty Images

Marinelli said, “Because of what’s happening [in Ukraine and] around the world and the possibility that the United States can be drawn into war, we think it would be counterproductive to Western civilization and the cause of democracy if we were also fighting within our own country.”

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Marinelli’s Ex-Partner Is Saying Something Different

The Yes California organization also has some internal issues that it needs to sort out before it charges forward with its plan for secession. The biggest problem seems to be that while Marinelli believes he’s running things, his fellow co-founder Marcus Ruiz Evans recently told Newsweek that he is, in fact, the “real leader.”

Marcus Ruiz Evans, co-founder of Yes California

Source: @NoYesCalifornia/Facebook

And Evans has a very different plan for California. He told the press, “CalExit was always the idea of all of California leaving America,” not that just part of the state would secede.

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CalExit Isn’t Happening Any Time Soon

While Evans, Marinelli, and their organization, Yes California, have been making headlines, there is no evidence to support the fact that either of their very different plans will come to fruition any time soon.

A participant holds a 'Calexit' sign during the Women's March, Los Angeles, California

Source: Chelsea Gugliemino/Getty Images

While there is no doubt that thousands, if not millions, of Californians, are frustrated with the federal government, a great deal of campaigning, organization, and legislation will need to be passed before the state can even think about breaking free.

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Some Americans Believe the Country Should Just Split

In 2024, it’s difficult to find an American who doesn’t believe the country is in trouble. And while some states believe the best course of action is secession, others have a different plan in mind.

Map of the blue and red states within the United States

Source: Wikipedia

Instead of one state divorcing the other 49, one idea is that the entire country will split into two groups: The red Republican states as one country and the blue Democratic states as another.

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Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene Has Publicly Agreed with the Idea

Georgian Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke on Fox News in February of 2023 about this idea, claiming that she believes it is what will ensure the US doesn’t find itself in another civil war.

Georgia Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene

Source: @MarjorieTaylorGreene/Facebook

She said in the interview, “The last thing that I ever want to see in America is a civil war. No one wants that…but it’s going that direction, and we have to do something about it.” Greene also wrote on an X post, “Soon national divorce may be our only option.”

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What’s Next for the United States of America?

It’s crucial to understand that while talk of secession is seemingly more prevalent than it has been in more than 150 years, there is still no sign that any of the United States will break away any time soon.

The American flag flies in front of a blue sky

Source: Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images

As mentioned, there will have to be a significant amount of legislation passed, votes accumulated, and even probably a several-year-long court case before the Supreme Court. However, if these states get serious, it could happen.

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