(CNN/Meredith) -- A measure that would divide California into three parts won't appear on the ballot in November, the state Supreme Court decided Wednesday.
The justices ordered the secretary of state not to put the ballot initiative before voters, saying significant questions have been raised about its validity. The court will now consider the merits of a challenge brought by an environmental group.
The Planning and Conservation League argues that dividing the nation's most populous state into three would drastically change California's government structure beyond what can be accomplished through a ballot initiative.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has spent more than $1.7 million supporting the initiative, has said it would be inappropriate for the court to block it from going before voters.
Neither side immediately responded to requests for comment on the court's ruling.
Draper has said that partitioning California into three states would allow regional communities to make better and more sensible decisions for their citizens to address the state's most pressing issues, including the school systems, high taxes, deteriorating infrastructure and strained government.
"The California state government isn't too big to fail, because it is already failing its citizens in so many crucial ways," Citizens for Cal 3 campaign spokeswoman Peggy Grande said in a Tuesday statement. "The reality is that for an overmatched, overstretched and overwrought state-government structure, it is too big to succeed. Californians deserve a better future."
"It will simply divide the state into smaller, more manageable populations. Think of North Carolina and South Carolina; North Dakota and South Dakota; West Virginia and Virginia -- California is already known for its Northern and Southern identities," according to the Cal 3 website.
But critics have slammed the partition effort as a distraction and say that breaking up the state would cost billions of tax dollars.
Under the proposal, each state would have about 12.3 million to 13.9 million people.
California- This would include six counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties.
Southern California- This would include 12 counties: San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern and Imperial counties.
Northern California- This would include 40 counties including the San Francisco Bay Area and the remaining counties north of Sacramento.
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