At 9 AM this morning, we faced off with Gavin Newsom’s attorneys at the Sutter County Superior Court. I think it went well. A ruling is expected by the end of the week.
We weren’t alone. Patriotic Californians from all across the state gathered at the courthouse. Here’s a short video of the scene when I arrived.
After dispensing with some motions on the admissibility of evidence (the Judge ruled in our favor), I presented the argument for our dispositive motion. Here’s how I described the autocratic power Newsom has assumed:
“It’s a form of power that was consciously rejected by the framers of the California and U.S. Constitution and has been heroically resisted by every generation since, through every conceivable natural or manmade disaster or calamity.
“Today we ask this court to restrain a form of power that exalts the will of one man above all – above our sacrosanct founding documents, above our carefully nurtured institutions, above the rule of law itself.“
So what’s going to happen? There are three possibilities.
First, the Judge could grant the Governor’s motion, which would let him wiggle out of the case on a technicality. I’d be surprised if that happened, as the Judge sounded very skeptical of his arguments.
Second, the Judge could grant our motion and we win the case. Obviously, we hope for a broad injunction restraining the Governor’s illegal conduct, but even a more narrow victory will be a major blow to his one-man rule and an important precedent.
Third, the Judge could rule that the case cannot be decided on the motions, and we will move ahead with the Oct. 21 trial date.
One thing that is clear: in the wake of the Michigan Supreme Court decision, the Governor is very worried about the whole Emergency Services Act being declared unconstitutional. The Judge quickly swatted down his one argument for why California’s law is different from Michigan’s.
If this were to happen, it would invalidate all of his emergency orders. His lawyers are so worried they even asked to be able to immediately appeal if the Act is declared unconstitutional. While I’ll stress that this is not the most probable initial outcome of the case, it is on the table.
After the hearing, Assemblyman Gallagher and I had a chance to briefly address the folks who were still at the courthouse. You can watch the video here.
*Sign up below for updates on our case against Newsom