[guest post by JVW]
As we transition into the weekend I think it’s worth giving a shout-out to two GOP Assembly members in the Golden State, Kevin Kiley (Rocklin) and James Gallagher (Yuba City), who won a pretty significant court victory earlier today regarding Governor Gavin Newsom’s abuse of executive power during the COVID-19 panic:
A California judge on Friday sided with Republican legislators who said Gov. Gavin Newsom overstepped his powers with dozens of emergency orders during the coronavirus crisis that changed everything from how public meetings are conducted to when tenants can be evicted.
Sutter County Superior Court Judge Perry Parker only halted one of the orders, involving the November election, but ordered Newsom to refrain from new orders that might be interpreted as usurping the Legislature’s responsibilities.
The judge appeared to adopt without changes a proposed order submitted to him by GOP Assemblymen James Gallagher and Kevin Kiley, who challenged the election order.
Parker barred Newsom “from further exercising any legislative powers in violation of the California Constitution and applicable statute, specifically from unilaterally amending, altering, or changing existing statutory law or making new statutory law.” He scheduled a hearing for June 26 to consider issuing a preliminary injunction.
Yes, it’s probably true that Democrats will find a left-wing judge to overturn the decision on November voting as well as lifting the prohibition on new rule-making by the governor, and yes, the Democrat-majority legislature will simply accede to the governor’s wishes and enact his plan legislatively, but it’s at least a shot across Governor Newsom’s bow that the minority party is paying attention and will hold him to account when he goes too far with his power grab. Interestingly enough, Democrat legislators have also expressed concern about the governor’s questionable exercise of emergency authority, but they have been far too timid to push back beyond requesting post facto explanations of various moves he has made.
But what’s even more impressive about today’s development is that in the era when we expect politicians to engage well-heeled lawyers for this sort of thing (usually paid for by a lavishly-funded PAC), Assemblymen Gallagher and Kiley appeared in court themselves to make the argument in person. That hearkens back to a bygone era when our elected representatives were actually competent enough to serve as their own advocates and is a welcome departure from today’s norm. Can anyone imagine Lorena Gonzales trying to defend the heinous AB-5 in court herself?
Today @J_GallagherAD3 and I took Gavin Newsom to court for overstepping his powers and won a Temporary Restraining Order. The Judge ordered the Governor’s latest Exexutive Order suspended as a violation of the Constitution. To save costs, we represented ourselves. pic.twitter.com/9sTQN9fikR
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) June 12, 2020
Well done, gentlemen, and thank you.