Sacramento – General Assembly member James Gallagher and Kevin Kelly formally won the lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom.
On Friday, Sutter Supreme Court Judge Sarah Hickman in her latest nine-page ruling that Newsom abused his power by changing state law in violation of the California constitution during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision makes its November 2 ruling final and deprives Newsom of the power under the California Emergency Services Act to amend, change or change any existing statute or enact a new statutory code for legislative policy.
Gallagher welcomed the ruling in a statement.
“Today, the court confirmed that Gavin Newsom does not govern California and that we are still a state of laws,” he said. “California has not served it well by one-man rule. Returning to representative government will be better for public health and the economy. The governor must accept this ruling as a fundamental principle of our democracy and govern himself accordingly.”
The lawsuit filed by the Board members arose out of Executive Order N-67-20. This order was issued on June 3, directing general elections to be a postal vote. Newsom tried to argue that the issue was moot because the Legislative Council addressed the elections.
She said the case also relates to a governor’s ability under the California Emergency Services Act to exercise legislative powers by amending or changing existing statutory law or unilaterally enacting a new statute.
In fact, I wrote that it was an active and ongoing debate between the parties and that it was a very important debate for the judiciary to resolve. But it also indicated that even with the Legislative Council’s action, Newsom showed no evidence of rescinding the order as claimed by the governor’s legal team. She also wrote that Assembly Bill 860 did not replace the June 3 order.
It ruled that the governor who uses the emergency law has the right to issue, amend, suspend and amend orders and regulations, but he does not allow the governor to amend or issue new laws.