Patterico's Pontifications

5/6/2021

Win Some, Lose Some

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:59 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Just as we were celebrating our judicial system trying to pare back the unusual amount of power that executives and the executive bureaucracy have amassed during the COVID pandemic, a group of California appellate judges overturned earlier rulings that Governor Gavin Newsom had exceeded his authority by engaging in what amounted to unilateral rule for several months last spring and summer, aspects of which continue to this very day:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s use of emergency powers to make far-reaching policies during the pandemic was upheld Wednesday by state appellate judges who rejected a lower court finding that the Democrat had done too much unilaterally.

Three judges from the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled unanimously that the prior judge “erred in interpreting the Emergency Services Act to prohibit the Governor from issuing quasi-legislative orders in an emergency.

“We conclude the issuance of such orders did not constitute an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power,” they said in ruling on a lawsuit brought by Republican state legislators.

We discussed this matter eleven months ago in the aftermath of the original ruling by Judge Perry Parker that Newsom had exceeded his emergency powers mandate. As I had predicted then, the governor and his Democrat allies had Judge Perry’s injunction — as well as a similar one by Judge Sarah Heckman of Sutter County which came in November — put on hold by the appellate court, and thus the governor has largely continued his one-man rule with his “emergency” powers remaining in place fourteen months into the pandemic.

Judge Perry’s ruling was centered around the issue of Governor Newsom unilaterally changing election rules. This gave the opportunity for the governor to have his changes rubber-stamped by the legislature to make everything hunky-dory:

The lawsuit itself centered on just one executive order requiring election officials to open hundreds of locations statewide where voters could cast ballots, despite the potential health risk.

The Legislature subsequently approved the same requirement, which Newsom said showed he was working with lawmakers. The [GOP] assemblymen said it showed the governor could often have used the usual legislative process.

The appeals court said that portion of the claim was moot because the governor’s order was superseded by the legislation which was directed at an election that has already occurred.

Which provides a fine lesson to future executives: seize power, rule as you wish, then wait for our sclerotic legal system to rule the objections moot some number of months later. The true villains here are California Assembly and California Senate who have cynically and lazily delegated authority to an ideological fellow-traveller and passed up numerous opportunities to take it back in a way that they surely wouldn’t with a governor from the other party. The perils of living in a political monoculture.

– JVW

Liz Cheney Quadruples Down — And Good on Her

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



This op-ed says it all:

I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative values is reverence for the rule of law. Each of us swears an oath before God to uphold our Constitution. The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president’s arguments, and refused to overturn election results. That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud.

The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan described this as our American “miracle.”

While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

This sums it up for me well. The Trump threat is at its core a threat to the rule of law. This is why I consider Trump to be one of our greatest national security threats, and the possibility of a second Trump presidency (the candidacy for which I expect him to announce soon) a calamity. At this point, keeping the House out of the hands of the dangerous GOP caucus in 2024, to prevent them from throwing the election to Trump, seems like a national security priority as well.

There is much at stake now, including the ridiculous wokeness of our political rivals, the irrational policies at the border and runaway spending that threatens a return to the catastrophic inflation of the 1970s. Reagan formed a broad coalition from across the political spectrum to return America to sanity, and we need to do the same now. We know how. But this will not happen if Republicans choose to abandon the rule of law and join Trump’s crusade to undermine the foundation of our democracy and reverse the legal outcome of the last election.

History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

I (now) know better than to idolize any politician, and Liz Cheney is far from perfect. But in this crusade of hers, she is absolutely in the right, 100%. She deserves the support of every decent American.

The arguments that this is really about her hawkishness, or her refusal to stop talking about the past, are horseshit. Elise Stefanik and Lindsey Graham are hawks and nobody cares because they kiss Trump’s ass and repeat his lies. The one refusing to talk about the past — about how the election was stolen — is Donald Trump. Liz Cheney is just setting the record straight. If you’re pushing some anti-anti-Trump line that the impending Cheney ouster is about anything other than her refusal to bend the knee, you’re pushing an obvious lie. Maybe you believe it, but that just makes you a chump instead of a liar.

Three cheers for Liz Cheney. She is going to lose this vote. She is going to lose in 2022. But she is a stand-up person, fighting against a real threat. I admire her for what she is doing.


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