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Next Week, Newsom’s One-Man Rule Faces A Legal Reckoning

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After hundreds of pages of briefing, the parties will face off in Court on Oct. 7 in the case of Gallagher and Kiley v. Newsom. At issue: the legality of Newsom’s one-man rule.

Assemblyman Gallagher and I are representing ourselves, in pro per, and we have challenged Governor Newsom and Attorney General Becerra to likewise show up themselves for this important public debate.

With our Oct. 21 trial date looming, here’s what this hearing is about: As we long expected, Newsom filed a “Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings” based on “mootness.” He wants to get out of the case on a technicality.

That’s been his strategy from the get-go: delay, delay, delay; escape the legal reckoning he justly deserves and that the Constitution demands; then, go right on ruling California by fiat.

But here’s what he didn’t expect: We also filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. That means that we could win the case on Oct. 7 and get an Order restraining further abuses of power.

The Governor’s discombobulation is clear from the cynical, bizarre, irrelevant, and misleading arguments he made in his 20-page Opposition Brief filed on Monday:

  • Scare tactics: He claims our lawsuits threatens to “throw into chaos current efforts to combat the wildfires now burning across the State.”
  • Deception: Repeatedly, his brief selectively quotes provisions of California law, editing out legal limitations on his own power in hopes that the Court won’t notice.
  • Diversions: He devotes much of the brief to refuting a legal theory we didn’t even advance.
  • Lawlessness: He describes Separation of Powers as “flexible” and “pragmatic,” some airy-fairy theory where anything goes, so he can claim a roving one-man lawmaking authority that is foreign to the Constitution and republican government itself.

To head off Newsom’s delay tactics, we insisted on an accelerated schedule where we had just 48 hours to file a Reply Brief. Then he waited until the last possible moment to file his Opposition so we wouldn’t have a second more time.

But we still filed a blistering Reply Brief yesterday as our closing argument.

Our Opening Brief warned of the dangers of an extended State of Emergency, with a Governor apt to ‘fall into the habit of acting unilaterally’ even for non-emergency purposes. As if to prove the point, on September 24 Governor Newsom issued a unilateral Executive Order banning gas-powered vehicles by 2035. In the Order, he did not cite the Emergency Services Act – a chilling sign that seven months into this emergency, lawmaking by decree has become normalized.  The time for a judicial check has arrived, as has already occurred in numerous other states.

If the Judge grants the relief we are seeking, it will restrict the Governor from further unconstitutional orders and serve as an important precedent for bringing this whole nightmare to an end.

If neither dispositive motion succeeds, then we proceed to trial on Oct. 21.

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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.