Who Needs “Calexit”? California Already Pretends It’s A Separate Nation

By Lawrence S. EbnerApril 16, 2018

The so-called “Calexit” secession initiative not only is nonsensical, but also superfluous. California in many ways already acts as if it were its own sovereign nation, defiant of federal authority and oblivious to the interests of other States. This is federalism on steroids. Last week Missouri and 10 other States filed an amicus curiae brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case which “involves a single State’s [California’s] attempt to defy federal law and dictate the manner of agricultural production in every other State.” According to Missouri—joined by Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia—“California is enacting law after law governing other State’s economies. . . . California persistently ignores federal law by extraterritorially regulating other States’ agricultural and industrial production.”  Moreover, “no matter how many times California’s laws regulate other States, the Ninth Circuit refuses to enjoin these regulations and enforce federal law.” The amicus brief explains that “in violation of federal law and in disregard of other States’ sovereign interests,” California has enacted laws which burden interstate commerce and discriminate against other States by seeking, for example, “to control ethanol production in other States’ cornfields and refineries,” and “dictate the manner of egg production of other States.” The pending case involves a federal preemption challenge to a California statute which in violation of USDA’s nationally uniform poultry product ingredient standards, imposes California’s own requirement that foie gras products sold in that state not contain specially fattened duck or goose liver produced through the traditional and widely accepted “force-feeding” process.  As my earlier post explained, I have filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Republic of France also urging the Supreme Court to hear the case.