Home>Articles>New Federal Lawsuit Accuses Gov. Newsom of ‘Gross Abuse of Power’ and Violation of Due Process Clause

Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

New Federal Lawsuit Accuses Gov. Newsom of ‘Gross Abuse of Power’ and Violation of Due Process Clause

A pandemic does not suspend the rule of law

By Katy Grimes, December 21, 2020 1:36 pm

“It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues and mosques,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch recently wrote, overturning New York’s church closure restrictions.

With a recent court win over Los Angeles County regarding the outdoor dining ban, California attorneys Mark Geragos, Harmeet Dhillon, Mark Meuser, Alexandra Kazerian, and Matthew Hoesly, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Gov. Gavin Newsom, representing Los Angeles restaurant owner Angela Marsden who made the recent tearful, now-viral video as she was forced to close down her restaurant, Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grille. She was forced to close down even her outdoor dining, while a Hollywood film production was allowed to provide the same outdoor dining across the shared parking lot. The message: Hollywood “essential” and necessary, Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grille, not.

This is the 17th lawsuit against the governor by the Dhillon Law Group since he ordered the state locked down for COVID-19 in March.

The lawsuit opens up with the Great Barrington Declaration, which the Globe has reported on extensively:

Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health- leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.

…. The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.

…. Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal…

~The Great Barrington Declaration – signed by over 51,970 medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners from around the world and across political ideologies.

This is yet another powerful lawsuit accusing Gov. Gavin Newsom of grossly abusing his emergency powers. Also named as defendants are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra,  Acting State Public Health Officer for the California Department of Public Health Erica S. Pan M.D., M.P.H., State of California—Health and Human Services Agency.

“Defendants, in a gross abuse of their power, have seized the Coronavirus pandemic to expand their authority by unprecedented lengths, depriving Plaintiff and all other similarly situated small business owners in California of fundamental rights protected by the U.S. and California Constitutions, including freedom assembly and due process and equal protection under the law,” the lawsuit states. “It is this Court’s duty to defend these constitutional principles by safeguarding the many rights and liberties of Californians such as Plaintiff that Defendants so brazenly, arbitrarily and capriciously violate.”

The lawsuit says the governor “has abused his Emergency Powers to give to an unelected, appointed public bureaucrat, is issuing orders that have full force of law,” referencing State Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan.

“These shutdown orders are not being deliberated and enacted by the legislature nor are they following California law for prorogating administrative regulations.”

The lawsuit addresses how Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill owner Angela Marsden, all restaurant owners, and small business owners, have been jerked around by the governor and his unelected appointed public health officials by first locking down and closing the state, then re-opening, only to then close non-essential businesses again.

“On May 7, 2020, State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell issued an order permitting the gradual reopening of businesses and activities in California in stages. The order provided for four stages of gradual reopening, with the final stage, Stage 4, consisting of an end to all stay-at-home orders and a full reopening of businesses. As a result, and on or about the beginning of June 2020, Plaintiff’s business re-opened for indoor dining, but was only allowed to do so at 50% capacity.

Thereafter, and on July 13, 2020, the State Public Health Officer issued a further order directing all restaurants in the State of California, such as Plaintiff’s, to again cease indoor dining service. The order applied to all restaurants regardless of ICU bed capacity availability or the number of deaths experienced in each county. As a result of the July 13, 2020 order, Plaintiff was also unable to recoup the cost of implementing the safety measures imposed by the May 7, 2020 order as a condition to offering indoor dining to their customers.”

On August 28, 2020, Defendant Dr. Pan implemented a statewide order that abandoned the previous, staged re-opening plan and dictated that counties would be classified according to a new plan entitled “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” under which a color-coded “tier” system would be used.

The lawsuit notes the lack of – what many in the media have failed to demand – scientific evidence. “Many of the contact tracing studies in the scientific literature that document the most common sources of spread of COVID infection show no evidence suggesting that outdoor dining is more likely to spread the COVID virus than the activities – including private gatherings – that remain permissible.”

Where the lawsuit gets interesting, besides challenging Newsom’s emergency powers, is his and the unelected public health officials’ violation of due process.

“Defendants also have violated Plaintiff’s procedural due process rights by ignoring California law as to the promulgation of administrative regulations as set forth in the California Administrative Procedures Act (Cal. Gov. Code §11340 et. seq.), including but not limited to the procedures for enacting emergency regulations (Cal. Gov. Code §11346.1).”

“No right granted or secured by the Constitution of the United States can be impaired or destroyed by a state enactment, whatever may be the source from which the power to pass such enactment may have been derived.” Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, 558 (1902).

“The Due Process clause ‘forbids the government to infringe [on] fundamental liberty interests at all, no matter what process is provided, unless the infringement is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest.’ Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997) (internal quotations omitted).”

“This applies to ‘fundamental rights and liberties which are deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’ Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. 760, 775 (2003) (internal quotations and citations omitted) (partially overruled on other grounds by Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194 (2001)).”

“Substantive due process ‘includes more than the absence of physical restraint.’ Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 719 (1997) (citation omitted).”

“It protects—in addition to all the enumerated freedoms in the Bill of Rights—a wide array of liberties.”

“Citizens have a fundamental right to be free from confinement without due process of law. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507, 531 (2004).”

“It is self-evident that the right to freely come and go from one’s home is a fundamental right. See Aptheker, 378 U.S. at 520.”

“The “involuntary confinement of an individual for any reason, is a deprivation of liberty which the State cannot accomplish without due process of law.” Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563, 580 (1975). Also, any “confinement must cease when those reasons [giving rise to it] no longer exist.” Id.”

“Quarantine laws may be permitted as to infected individuals, but not the public at large. Robinson v. State of California, 370 U.S. 660, 666 (1962).”

“A quarantine law that banned introduction of cattle into a state for several months of the year regardless of whether the cattle were diseased or not was held to be unconstitutional. Railroad Company v. Husen, 95 U.S. 465, 473 (1877).”

“Both the Executive Orders and the Regional Orders mandate that Californians stay at home and shut down their “non-essential” businesses.”

“Both the Executive Orders and the Regional Orders violate Plaintiff’s constitutional right to liberty.”

This is the lawsuit:

Dhillon v. Newsom
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33 thoughts on “New Federal Lawsuit Accuses Gov. Newsom of ‘Gross Abuse of Power’ and Violation of Due Process Clause

  1. GOOD NEWS! Glad to see Gruesome slapped with yet another law suit. Maybe this one will stick. Sure hope so! Best of luck.

  2. I have to agree with Queeg on this one. Corrupt courts and law enforcement have rendered suits like this largely meaningless. Only until Trump reestablishes law and order will such suits have a chance of succeeding.

    1. I hear you, CW. I appreciate the efforts of Harmeet & Co. — and whoever else has the patience — to keep the pressure on this guy and always hopeful that one of these darn things will stick.
      Better perhaps to keep an optimistic eye on 2021.

    2. I can see that you have been drinking the Trump kool-aide and alot of it. The fraud in chief and accused rapist , tax evader , murder , liar , and fraud will be gone on Jan 20th. You better find a new Furor to keep you red hopes alive.

      1. Dem party may have a few good, misinformed members, but racist to the core since before Civil War. They’ve screwed every race & ethnicity, playing them against each other. Especially Black & Chinese Americans.

  3. Harmeet, we appreciate all of your efforts. But it seems like these lawsuits are not likely to resolve for many months. The Recall Newsom signature drive may get the Governor’s attention in 2021. A permanent solution to overreach during public health emergencies would require a state ballot measure in 2022. It could be as simple as a requirement for CA State Assembly and Senate approval of any public health declared emergency within 21 days of the declaration or the declaration is null and void.

    1. I believe a bill was introduced in the Assembly earlier this month to limit a state of emergency. Good luck passing it though. I think it was sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley. “On Thursday, California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced a bill to abolish what he calls “endless emergencies” in the State of California. His bill proposes a State of Emergency will automatically expire after 60 days.”

    2. Queeg & JF1962 & others on here nailed it

      Greedy money grubbing attorney’s line their pockets with these lawsuits!
      Yes, correct…the court already ruled against Newsom.
      I suspect they have more than enough signatures to go forward with this newsom recall effort but t hey are stalling. Just like we’re seeing with the GOP, the corruption runs deep and it’s on both sides. We need to fix our rigged elections so all these phonies and criminals can get voted out. I think CA voted red 2020 but we will never know, will we?

      1. The governor has a 59% approval rating as of 12/21/20. He will not be recalled and he has not broken any laws with the exception of attempting to keep you alive which is something you do not want.

    3. Good idea, useful next time, but have a better one
      Section 242 of Title 18 Deprivation of rights under color of law
      A serious felony, with penalty per each offense. Want him in jail for life

  4. I believe a bill was introduced in the Assembly earlier this month to limit a state of emergency. Good luck passing it though. I think it was sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley. “On Thursday, California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced a bill to abolish what he calls “endless emergencies” in the State of California. His bill proposes a State of Emergency will automatically expire after 60 days.”

  5. so, what if he loses? will he be put in PRISON for False Imprisonment? (don’t count on anything happening to him)

  6. So much for our “Bill of rights” we have a satanist as a gov who doesn’t believe in God much less “rights for citizens” Because of ONE satanist we now live in a 3rd world state…..if not worse. Criminals are honored and victims become forgotten and victimized even further….WHY ARE WE STANDING AGAINST THIS?

    1. I believe you are spot on. This so called governor is evil to the core and is demonically controlled. The good news he is not God. His time will
      Iggy bcome.

  7. It’s pointless. The reason is Corona is an intelligence operation, and the National Security state has most appellate judges in their pocket. The NSA bugs the supreme court judges, and there are control and blackmail files on all of them – so the judges will just have to play nice. Kay Griggs disclosed how the National Security State covertly controls the judiciary in her 1997 interview. Gavin Newsom is a Naval Intelligence asset – he’s playing a role in what is a forced economic transition using a phony Coronavirus as an excuse. The lawyers are playing a bit role. This will go nowhere until we start to talk about Corona as an intelligence operation.

  8. What is being done can easily be explained in what is the “ cloward-piven strategy”, which has been around for quite some time.

    The idea is to take advantage of a crisis, and if a crisis doesn’t exist to accomplish an objective a crisis is created. When a crisis is created it is well thought out in every possible way, and that includes manipulating the citizens before, during and after. The COVID panic seems to be just such a crisis. The flu is real, but not even close to the death sentence they continue to claim, and the crisis they are keeping on life support to keep the lie alive looks more and more as a manufactured crisis from the very beginning.

    1. I would recommend you visit an ER or speak to a FRONT LINE EMPLOYEE. Your comment is truly ignorant and delusional.

      1. Hey Lorenzo, my local icu is pretty empty as usual! Typical ER, car accidents and people doing stupid holiday stunts…. NOTHING to see here! So how much are they paying you? Dont lie, now…

    2. You’re definitely in the minority view with that mindset. I have to agree with commenter below that is a truly ignorant statement supported by nothing factual.

  9. Are some people just stupid or am I missing something here. The COUNTY and THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA is at ZERO capacity for ICU beds, emergencies such as car accident victims , heart attack victims and any other injury or illness that requires EMERGENCY CARE are scrambling and some of those people die because doctors and nurses do not have staff that can treat them. But yet a law suit too keep restaurants too allow dining is filed against the Governor? Simply stupid and unnecessary. If I was Newsom I would just allow them to reopen but the minute that cases surge further and people begin to complain I would just refer to lawsuits and other legal proceedings that have pushed limits. While the Governor has had fault with his Laundry restaurant visit and acknowledged and apologized it simply is not enough. I completely sympathize for the owners and restaurant owners and that their businesses are on the verge of collapse but would you rather have a business close or bury a family member? Things are going to get worse and more people defy the order. Its time to wake up . The pandemic is not a hoax, conspiracy and the Governor is not trying too rule like a dictator this country has one of those already. He simply is attempting to SAVE LIVES. IF EVERYONE WORE A MASK , SOCIAL DISTANCED AND THOUGHT OF SOMEONE ELSE BESIDES THEMSELVES WE WOULD NOT BE IN THE POSITION AGAIN. If you want to blame someone for the recent restrictions stand in the mirror and ask if you are doing everything to prevent the spread OF A DEADLY DISEASE ?

  10. Why in the world would they open with the “Great Barrington Declaration” that clearly (1) celebrates childhood vaccinations (2) wants to keep granny isolated, with groceries delivered; and (3) recommends that older folk olny be visited outside. What a bunch of hogwash!

  11. GAVIN NEWSOM. ATTENTION why aren’t you supporting an INCREASE in funding for respite workers who are vendored through California’s 21 Regional centers? ???/ These home health workers working through regional center vendored home health agencies provide DIRECT CARE SUPPORT to families raising children with autism and other special needs. WHY on earth wouldn’t you support or promote an increase therefore, in salary and training for these agencies and direct support care workers? This seems so cruel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IT TOGETHER NEWSOM! DEMOCRATS are s upposed to HELP THE DISABLED NOT HURT AND NEGLECT THEM.

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