The movement for Californian independence is a political movement in the U.S. state of California. The vast majority of the movement advocates secession from the Union through entirely peaceful means. Currently, this movement is mostly restricted to web groups.
Precedent may have been set with actions such as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signing a global warming treaty with the United Kingdom's former Prime Minister Tony Blair , an action that could be construed as extra-constitutional regarding states signing foreign treaties. This action was ignored by the federal government.
Arguments in favor of the secessionist movement include California's stem cell research initiatives, the fact that California tax payers are shouldering a disproportionate tax burden for the rest of the country, California's relatively liberal views when compared to the growing conservatism in the rest of the country, as well as California's economy (if California were independent, but all other national boundaries were left intact, it would be one of the top ten strongest economies in the world).
However, it should be noted that following the American Civil War, the Supreme Court ruled in Texas v White that states do not have the power to unilaterally secede from the Union. This means that any future attempts to secede would either require a new Supreme Court ruling, an amendment to the United States Constitution that allows for states to secede unilaterally, or simply an act of Congress recognizing secession. In addition, the California Constitution does not allow the state to leave the United States; this would need to be amended by the state legislature or referendum before any attempt to secede.
Certain groups take as their emblem the original Bear Flag meaning to recall California's early, albeit brief, time as a sovereign nation: the Bear Flag Republic. These groups claim that California's earlier bout of independence (June 14, 1846) establishes a precedent to which they could return.