It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted about our case against Newsom. You can follow the court’s official docket here. The last entry is from Dec. 29: “case fully briefed.”
To recap, in November we defeated Newsom at trial. The Superior Court ruled that his one-man rule violated the Constitution and restrained him from further unconstitutional orders.
Newsom rushed to the Court of Appeal with a 73-page “extraordinary writ” petition, insisting the Permanent Injunction must be overturned because it threatened to invalidate “dozens of other executive actions.”
The Court declined Newsom’s wish for an immediate reversal, instead setting a rapid briefing schedule and teeing up the first precedent-setting decision in California history on the limits of a Governor’s emergency powers. Thirteen briefs have been filed, which you can read here.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal has 11 Justices, but only three of them are assigned (supposedly at random) to hear our case. One of those three will be chosen to write the opinion, then we’ll face off with Newsom’s attorneys at oral argument. I’m hopeful this will happen sooner rather than later, but the date hasn’t been set.
When we do meet in court, one thing will likely be different: the Governor is about to lose his lawyer. Xavier Becerra was appointed Attorney General by Jerry Brown in 2017 when Kamala Harris left the post to become a Senator. Becerra spent the next four years suing the President 110 times at a cost of $41 million to taxpayers. For some reason, Joe Biden thought this was a good resume for a Health and Human Services Secretary.
If Becerra is confirmed and joins Biden’s cabinet, Newsom will make yet another appointment to replace him as Attorney General. Names like Adam Schiff have been thrown around, but someone like Rob Bonta, an Assemblyman from Oakland, is more likely.
Speaking of Becerra, I got a remarkable letter from him yesterday. He’s refusing to issue the opinion I asked for on the validity of Newsom’s appointment of Alex Padilla to the Senate, even though he’s legally required to. So the Attorney General is violating the law in order to avoid saying the Governor is violating the law. Welcome to the Banana Republic of California.
I separately asked the same legal question of the Legislative Counsel’s Office and got back a ten-page opinion confirming that Newsom must set an election for the Senate seat. This put Becerra between a rock and a hard place: he either had to disagree with the nonpartisan Legislative Counsel or overrule the Governor. The solution he’s landed on is to simply ignore the law and issue no opinion at all. Meet your new Health and Human Services Secretary, America. I have not ruled out a separate lawsuit on this matter.
Meanwhile, the Recall has passed yet another milestone, reaching 1.2 million signatures plus this big stack of petitions added yesterday. Another county, Del Norte, has passed our Healthy Communities Resolution calling for an end to Newsom’s one-man rule. And with a little luck, the Court of Appeal will soon cement Newsom’s status as our most lawless Governor ever.
These are trying times, but change is in the air.
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