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In a fit of spite, Gov. Newsom is trying to remove the Judge who issued the Restraining Order against him in our case, claiming “prejudice against his interest.”
Attorney General Xavier Becerra, on behalf of his client Gavin Newsom, filed a section 170.6 motion to “disqualify” the assigned Superior Court Judge. The filing states:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Defendant Gavin Newsom, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California, moves that this action, which has been assigned to the Honorable Perry Parker, be reassigned from that Judge, and that no matters hereinafter arising that may relate to Defendant Newsom in this action be heard or assigned to the Honorable Perry Parker, on the ground that said Judge is prejudiced against defendant’s interest in this action.
“Prejudiced against his interest” – that’s quite an accusation for any litigant to lob at a California Superior Court Judge who’s served honorably for 30 years. For the accusation to come from the Governor of California is disquieting.
In a supporting declaration, one of the Governor’s lower-ranking attorneys adds, “I believe defendant Governor Newsom cannot have a fair and impartial hearing.”
What exactly is the basis for Gov. Newsom’s extraordinary assertion of prejudice, unfairness, and partiality?
Nothing more than the fact that the Judge ruled against him. His motion avers: “Judge Parker issued a temporary restraining order in this action on June 12, 2020, without appearance by the Governor.”
As readers of this blog know, that Order by the Judge in question found that Gov. Newsom exceeded his constitutional authority and impermissibly assumed the powers of the Legislature.
It appears that in the Governor’s view, any Judge who would limit his power is, ipso facto, “prejudiced against his interest” and needs to be removed at once. It’s also telling that Gov. Newsom’s concern is for “his” own interest – not the interest of the people of California.
This aligns with the Governor’s alarming brief from last week, where he argued he’s required to provide “no evidence at all” that his actions are constitutional and that courts should simply assume any and all actions he undertakes are justified by the “readily apparent” threat of the pandemic.
Attacking an independent judiciary is par for the course in a banana republic. To see Gavin Newsom resorting to it is sadly unsurprising.
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