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California Supreme Court Decides Not To Limit Governor’s Emergency Powers

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The California Supreme Court has issued a decision to not rein in the governor’s emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

They decided to leave in place a lower court ruling that kept the governor’s powers intact, Fox News reported.

The justices unanimously denied the petition for review filed by Republican Assemblymen James Gallagher and Kevin Kiley, without giving an explanation beyond the one-line order.

The lawmakers had wanted the high court to overturn a decision in May by three judges from the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento who ruled unanimously that Newsom did not illegally usurp the Legislature’s power with his broad use of emergency powers to make far-reaching policies during the pandemic.

Newsom, a Democrat, faces a Sept. 14 recall election driven largely by anger over his handling of the pandemic, including his unilateral imposing of restrictions such as the nation’s first stay-at-home order in March 2020.

Kiley is one of the 46 candidates who will be listed on the ballot to replace him if a majority of voters decide to oust the governor in the midterm.

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“Apparently the CA Supreme Court has rejected our appeal. No official notice to me or @KevinKileyCA but the SF Chronicle already knows about it. Interesting… I want to say more but I’ll leave it there for now,” Assemblyman Gallagher said in a tweet.

“I want everyone to understand what the CA Supreme Court passed on: Newsom changing your election laws overnight to 1) shorten the number of days you can vote; 2) eliminate traditional polling places; 3) eliminate the need for publicly noticed meetings with voting rights groups,” he said.

“We argued only the Legislature can amend law, can’t do that by EO it’s blatantly unconstitutional; Sutter Superior Court judge agreed with us; the 3rd District Ct of Appeal said during an emergency a Gov can change any law on any subject, Leg can end emergency if they don’t like,” he said.

“Judges have consistently failed to hold Gavin Newsom accountable, perhaps because he bashes them by name if they do. It’s a good thing Californians have taken matters into their own hands,” Assemblyman Kiley said.

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The governor’s spokesperson, Erin Mellon, said that the lawsuit was “a misguided attack” on a state law that was signed by former President Ronald Reagan, when he was the governor of California.

“It’s a law that carefully balances the Legislature’s and Governor’s roles, and we’re glad the state Supreme Court recognized there was no need to entertain fringe legal theories that sought to upset that balance,” she said.

The lawsuit was centered on one of the governor’s executive orders that required election officials to open hundreds of new locations across the state for voters to cast ballots.

Last week the governor snapped when talking to reporters, saying that everyone not in California who is talking about the state is “bit**ing” about it.

“It would be nice if our homegrown team would be focusing on what’s right,” the governor shouted. “Everybody outside this state is bit**ing about this state.”

“Guys, forgive me, I know I am a little pointed today but I’ve been taking a lot from you folks for a lot of months,” he said as he waved his hand toward the reporters. “I should be able to express myself, too.”

And as he faces a recall election he stood by his work as governor, saying that Texas and Florida could “eat their hearts out” about the jobs that have been created in California.

“I’m a future ex-governor,” the governor also said in the interview. “It could happen in a few weeks, it could happen in a few years. I love this d*mn state.”

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