The California Supreme Court just gave Tim Draper a gift.

The court removed Draper’s Cal-3 initiative, to split California into three states, from the November ballot. And in so doing, they probably gave the initiative some life.

Before the court’s ruling, Cal-3 was a national joke – a poorly drafted concept that was going to lose very badly in November, and disappear into the dustbin of history. The people would have rejected the idea, and that was the end of it.

But the court, in blocking that certain rejection, has now given Draper and Cal-3’s backers a new grievance to exploit: the system is against them! Unelected judges are preventing the public from voting on their idea!

They can pose as defenders of democracy and sovereignty, which aligns well with their arguments for three states.

And the California Supreme Court has given them a forum – since the court merely removed it the measure from this ballot. The court wants more time to decide if Cal-3 is a revision of the California constitution, which means it’s not something that can be done by ballot initiative. You can amend the constitution by initiative, but revising the constitution requires legislative approval.

Of course, the court is right legally here – and Cal-3 is a revision. But the California Supreme Court has long let initiatives revise the constitution – Propositions 13 and 98 changed the California so profoundly that both were clearly major revisions of the document, but the court let both stand.

Anyway, all of this will keep the Cal-3 campaign alive well beyond what would have been its November demise. I hope Draper has enough class to send the justices a thank-you note along with his lawyers’ filings.