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A few days ago Gavin Newsom was asked about lawsuits he’s facing. He replied: “We’re winning.”

I actually had no idea what he was talking about, but to be honest that’s often the case. It appears the state supreme court simply declined to review one petition from a county that hadn’t gone through the lower courts.

On the other hand, our victory over Newsom was finalized by the Superior Court on November 13, and the Court of Appeal spurned Newsom’s wish for an immediate reversal despite his hysterical assertion that the ruling “calls into question vast swaths of the State’s emergency response to COVID-19.” The higher court’s decision, which is still pending, could potentially result in an even greater loss for the Governor.

This wasn’t Newsom’s only recent loss. The U.S. Supreme Court called into doubt his restrictions on churches and has now demanded a response from him. Another court in San Diego ruled that “given every opportunity, the State has provided the Court with no evidence” to justify an outdoor dining ban, and the appeals court did not question that finding. Newsom also faces a flurry of new lawsuits just filed in the last few weeks, including one yesterday over youth sports.

But let’s pretend for a moment that Newsom was right, that he’s actually “winning.” Then who’s losing? Student-athletes, parents, small business owners, faith leaders, salon owners, restaurateurs – those are the plaintiffs in these cases. Newsom apparently views them as adversaries to be defeated, not constituents to be served.

I’ve never viewed our case against Newsom as about us winning or him losing. It’s about redeeming our representative government. That’s the proper role of the courts, incidentally: not to control our lives but to stop anyone else from doing so. To protect our personal freedoms as individuals and our collective freedom as a self-governing community.

I touched on this point in a speech yesterday to a large gathering of student-athletes at a “Let Them Play” rally. These kids are seeing everything that’s wrong with our government, but they’re also discovering their own power to make their voices heard.

It’s so important that young people come out of this dark era not with a tolerance for authoritarianism but with an appreciation for its evils. They can help light the new spark of self-government we’re already seeing in the 1.3 million Recall signatures.

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Kevin Kiley is a Republican California Legislator fighting back against the Supermajority and Special Interests at the State Capitol. Sign up for updates to be part of our growing movement, and join other Californians of patriotism, decency, and common sense who want nothing more than to save our state.