California Assemblymen Kevin Kiley and James Gallagher are suing to stop California Governor Gavin Newsom’s “one man rule.”
Kiley and Gallagher filed their most recent Trial Brief, and Gov. Gavin Newsom filed his. The trial will take place Wednesday, October 21, 2020 in Sutter County.
The Michigan Supreme Court recently struck down the 1945 law that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been using to keep the state in lockdown since April. And in September, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled that Governor Tom Wolf’s lockdown orders were unconstitutional, violating both the First and 14th Amendments, California Globe reported.
“This brief and all prior briefs were written and argued by me and Assemblyman Gallagher alone, representing ourselves in pro per,” Kiley explained. “While we could have hired outside lawyers, we’ve felt compelled to personally stand up for our branch of government, and more importantly, for the people of California we were elected to represent.”
“That’s because this case is not about one particular law, but the rule of law – not about rectifying a single violation of the Constitution but redeeming the whole document.”
Kiley and Gallagher are asking the court for two things:
(1) “a judgment that the Executive Order so issued is null and void”;
(2), a court order stopping the Governor from further exercising any “legislative powers in violation of the California Constitution.”
Kiley and Gallagher argue that California’s Constitution has an explicit separation-of-powers provision, which Gov. Newsom has violated. “A California Governor is constitutionally forbidden from doing the very thing Gov. Newsom has done here: exercise legislative powers,” they say.
Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order to create an all-vote-by-mail-election suspends and substantively changes California’s Elections Code. Gov. Newsom contends that the order “fits comfortably within the Governor’s broad grant of authority under the Emergency Services Act.”
California is in its eighth month of Gov. Newsom-ordered lockdown under the COVID-19 pandemic, and still with no apparent end in sight.
“In addition to sweeping ‘guidance documents’ that close schools and shutter businesses, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued 55 Executive Orders that span 15 different California Codes and change over 400 state laws,” Kiley and Gallagher explain.
The crux of their legal argument: the California Emergency Services Act does not authorize Newsom’s unconstitutional actions:
“Contrary to the Governor’s claim, the Emergency Services Act does not and could not inaugurate an autocracy in the State of California. Such a wild misapprehension of his own authority is precisely why this case demands a resolution on the merits.“
Kiley described a potshot in Newsom’s own Trial Brief: “Though Plaintiffs (Kiley & Gallagher) claim to be guardians of the Legislature’s authority, notably, unlike in Michigan, the California Legislature as a body has not joined Plaintiffs’ lawsuit.”
“He’s got a point,” Kiley said. “California’s Legislature has been much more useless than the one in Michigan or pretty much anywhere. Its leaders, far from reining in Newsom’s abuse of power, have taken most of the year off.”
They also note that the Governor claims that his Executive Order is now moot because the Legislature passed legislation since then supporting the election changes. However, as evidence, the Governor submitted a Senate Floor analysis written by Senate Floor staffers. Kiley and Gallagher point out that a Senate Floor analysis is only evidence of what one Senate staffer thought, and not evidence of what the Senate or Senators believed when they passed the legislation.
Kiley and Gallagher warn that this could likely happen again, with the Governor issuing more Executive Orders altering or creating legislation, because “he has already issued three Executive Orders this year with regard to elections.”
The New York Times has a map of the 50 U.S. States in varying stages of re-opening, and some, like California, reversing re-opening plans.
Compare this to September 14, 2020 map:
California Globe will be attending the Superior Court hearing and will report the results.