The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on Tuesday in favor of seceding from California to form a new state called “Jefferson.” Siskiyou also plans to invite nearby counties in California and southern Oregon to join with them in casting off the bonds that have tied them to their fellow Californians and Oregonians for generations.
Residents attending the supervisors meeting were virtually unanimous in supporting the predominantly Republican county’s secession. According to the Redding Record Searchlight, a local paper, one member of the board of supervisors raised a laundry list of complaints related to “regulation, restriction of rights, lack of representation, regionalism and restoration of limited government.” A staffer from Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s (R-CA) office attended the meeting and claimed that “she and other LaMalfa staff members supported the effort to secede, but she did not know LaMalfa’s thoughts on it.”
Siskiyou’s effort to form a new, presumably Republican state is not an isolated incident. Six Colorado counties plan to vote on a plan to secede from that state and form the new state of “North Colorado,” largely as part of an effort to avoid environmental regulation and gun safety laws. Should either of these secessionist efforts succeed, the new states would each receive two senators, despite the fact that these senators would represent virtually no one. Siskiyou County has about 45,000 residents, while nearly nearly 38 million people call the remainder of California their home. Yet, if Siskiyou formed its own state, those 45,000 people would receive exactly the same amount of representation in the Senate as the nearly 850 times as many people who live in the rest of California.
Such an outcome is unlikely, however, as the Constitution provides that “no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”