Now that Judge Heckman’s ruling against Gavin Newsom is final, we are reviewing all previous Executive Orders to determine which are legally suspect. I’ll provide an update later this week.
In the meantime, I’ve just submitted a Legal Opinion Request to the Attorney General challenging Newsom’s authority on another matter: the appointment of a U.S. Senator. You can read it here.
Newsom is reveling in what he describes as the “cattle call” of installing a political ally in the Senate. But if Kamala Harris does vacate her seat, the Constitution says it’s for California voters – not Newsom – to decide who completes her term.
Even after being restrained by the courts for exceeding his authority, he’s once again trying to claim for himself power that resides with the people.
Newsom’s plan is to install his own political flunky as the new Senator, ideally a current state officeholder, like our farcically partisan Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, so he can then install another ally in his place. He may even plan to appoint a successor for Dianne Feinstein if she resigns mid-term, as some have speculated.
Alternatively, it’s possible Newsom would try to grab the Senate seat himself, especially since his own supporters are starting to call him a one-term Governor. The Sacramento Bee, a paper that endorsed him, just denounced his “stunning hypocrisy” for feting a lobbyist at the $350/plate French Laundry restaurant in violation of his own emergency orders.
The Bee wrote that “nothing will launder the stain of stupidity from his reputation after this ill-conceived outing.” The Editorial went on:
“Two years into his first term, and nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsom still can’t get his act together. If Newsom can’t get his head into the game, perhaps he should make this governor thing a one-term affair and leave the job open for someone with a desire to lead.”
The last thing California needs is for Newsom’s one-man rule to yield a hand-picked Senator who could serve for decades. If the Governor insists on disenfranchising the people of California, I’m prepared to take further legal action.
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