Mariano Rajoy

Catalans vow to resist after Spain court rules vote illegal

Spain's top court ruled Tuesday that a recent independence referendum in Catalonia was unconstitutional, adding legal weight to the government's efforts to block an attempt by the wealthy region's leaders to break away from the rest of the country.

Armed with that Constitutional Court ruling, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government is in a stronger position to potentially strip Catalonia of its self-government, or parts of it, for disobeying the law. Rajoy has given the secession-minded regional authorities until Thursday to back down from their independence ambitions.

The court's ruling wasn't surprising — Spain's government had repeatedly insisted the vote...