Exceptions for rape, incest removed as South Carolina lawmakers advance 'heartbeat' abortion bill
California secession movement cleared to begin collecting signatures
The California secession movement has been given the go-ahead to gather signatures for its effort after the ballot proposal was approved Monday.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) announced the ballot proposal's approval, which would ask the state's voters in 2020 if they want to discuss declaring independence from the U.S. If the initiative passes, that vote would take place May 4, 2021.
Those in favor of secession have to meet an October deadline to collect 365,880 signatures from registered voters in order to put the measure on the ballot.
The development marks the second attempt at what supporters are calling "Calexit," coming just two months after activists filed papers to set the initiative in motion. The first attempt failed last year while signatures were being gathered.
While certain groups have long pushed for California to leave the U.S., tensions between the state and the Trump administration have increased dramatically over environmental and immigration issues.
The president has repeatedly taken to Twitter to slam California Gov. Jerry Brown (D). Meanwhile, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit last month that aimed to block three so-called sanctuary laws the state's legislature passed last year.
"I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out there on immigration. But the law is in the books and its purposes are clear and just," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said during a visit to the state in March.