California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom just got some bad news from a federal judge, who ruled that his executive orders throughout the coronavirus pandemic have been unconstitutional. The judge also limited Newsom’s powers when it comes to making executive orders in the future.
Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman ruled that Newsom must stop issuing unconstitutional executive orders after she concluded that one of his orders on mail-in balloting was “an unconstitutional exercise of legislative power.” This comes after months of critics saying that Newsom has been acting beyond his executive powers with the executive orders that he’s issued since the start of COVID-19.
“The Governor does not have the power or authority to assume the Legislature’s role of creating legislative policy and enactments,” Heckman said.
Republican assembly member Kevin Kiley, who filed this lawsuit against Newsom, took to Twitter to celebrate the ruling.
“The Judge has ruled in our case against Gavin Newsom. We won,” Kiley tweeted. “The Judge found good cause to issue a permanent injunction restraining the Governor from issuing further unconstitutional orders.”
The Judge has ruled in our case against Gavin Newsom. We won. The Judge found good cause to issue a permanent injunction restraining the Governor from issuing further unconstitutional orders.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) November 2, 2020
In his lawsuit, Kiley had accused Newsom of seizing power illegally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been arguing that the California Emergency Services Act does not provide for one-man rule. Today, the Court agreed with us,” Kiley said.
The controversial order from Newsom had required that registered voters in California receive a mail-in ballot for the November election while also expanding the availability of polling places. Since lawmakers already approved the mandate, however, this ruling from the judge will not impact today’s election.
“This is a victory for separation of powers,” Kiley added. “The Governor has continued to create and change state law without public input and without the deliberate process provided by the legislature. Today, the judicial branch again gave him the chack that was needed and the Constitution requires.”