Could 'South California' Become Our 51st State?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 13, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

California secession is on the mind of Jeff Stone, a Republican who sits on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Have you ever heard of "South California"?

Maybe you will!

Stone wants to create a 51st state, "South California," which will include 13 counties in Southern California. Los Angeles County is noticeably absent from the list of counties Stone wants to include, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why exclude LA? "Los Angeles is purposely excluded because they have the same liberal policies that Sacramento does," Stone said to the Los Angeles Times.

The California counties included in the plan are: Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare. Eleven of the thirteen counties are traditionally Republican-favored.

"South California" would actually be the 5th largest state by population, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Can a "South California" dream become a reality? It could, according to the U.S. Constitution. Though, there are several hurdles in place before Stone's 51st state can materialize.

The first hurdle: Congress needs to approve of the new state.

The second hurdle: California's congress needs to approve of the new state.

What does the other branch of California's government have to say about Stone's plans? "It's a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time," said Gil Duran, spokesman for Governor Jerry Brown, to the Los Angeles Times.

Stone isn't the first one who's dreamed of a separate California state. About 220 groups have tried to secede from the Golden State since the 1850s.

So, California secession and "South California" may be just a pipe dream. That is, unless Stone can convince the California legislature and Congress.

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