We’ve just filed our dispositive motion with the California Superior Court. Our brief sets forward the clear legal argument against Gavin Newsom’s one-man rule. You can read the entire brief here.
We are asking the court for two things: (1) “a judgment that the Executive Order so issued is null and void”; (2), a court order stopping the Governor from further exercising any “legislative powers in violation of the California Constitution.”
We were limited to 15 pages, although we are also filing a separate 15-page Opposition to the Governor’s own brief, which I will send later this week. Here’s how ours begins:
“In the case before the Court, Defendant Gavin Newsom declares that the six-month-and-counting State of Emergency centralizes the State’s powers in the hands of the Governor. This disquieting claim belies California law and defies America’s first principles.”
We then set forth the constitutional basis for the Court to step in:
“The authors of California’s Constitution learned the lesson of America’s founding even better than the Founders themselves, enshrining an explicit separation-of-powers provision. A California Governor is constitutionally forbidden from doing the very thing Gov. Newsom has done here: exercise legislative powers.”
Our brief then turns to the unprecedented abuses of this year:
“California has entered its seventh month of the COVID-19 pandemic, with no apparent end in sight. In addition to sweeping ‘guidance documents’ that close schools and shutter businesses, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued 53 Executive Orders that span 15 different California Codes and change over 400 state laws.”
And here is the crux of the legal argument: the Emergency Services Act does not authorize Newsom’s unconstitutional actions.
“Contrary to the Governor’s claim, the Emergency Services Act does not and could not inaugurate an autocracy in the State of California. Such a wild misapprehension of his own authority is precisely why this case demands a resolution on the merits.“
We then make it clear to the Court what’s at stake: our very system of government and way of life.
“There is perhaps no action more offensive to the rule of law, no threat to liberty more menacing, than the use of extraordinary emergency powers for ordinary political purposes. History shows that the decline of republican government comes not just from the sudden arrival of Caesar but from a steady erosion of institutions and traditions.
It’s now up to the Court to restore checks and balances in California. But it’s up to the people of California to send a strong message to Newsom this November.
With the failures of our state’s politicians on horrifying display, now is the time to alter California’s political trajectory and restore government of, by, and for the people. This is the moment that we can come together and start to save our great state.