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California State Governor Gavin Newsom May 31, 2020Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

SACRAMENTO, November 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A California Superior Court judge ruled on Monday that Governor Gavin Newsom not only overstepped his authority in an executive order regarding the election, but the judge restrained the Governor with a permanent injunction from issuing any further unconstitutional orders.

In her ruling, Judge Sarah Heckman barred Governor Gavin Newsom “from exercising any power under the California Emergency Services Act which amend, alters, or changes existing statutory law or makes new statutory law or legislative policy.”

The Sutter County Superior Court judge said that one of Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive orders was “an unconstitutional exercise of legislative power.” The issue under dispute was Newsom’s June order to mail all registered voters a ballot before the federal election. California’s legislature subsequently voted for the same policy, and so it remained unaffected by the ruling.

While the ruling does serve as a check on Newsom’s ability to create new legislation by fiat, it is not expected to have an impact on the more than 50 executive orders that the governor has issued over the course of the pandemic, including his May order that deemed religious gathering nonessential.

Nevertheless, the two Republican state assemblymen who filed the legal challenge and argued the case in court see it as a “victory for separation of powers.”

In response to the ruling, assemblymen James Gallagher of Yuba City and Kevin Kiley of Rocklin released a joint statement saying, “The governor has continued to create and change state law without public input and without the deliberative process provided by the Legislature. Today the judicial branch again gave him the check that was needed and that the Constitution requires.”

Gallagher and Kiley presented evidence persuading Heckman to judge that “it is reasonably probable the governor will continue issuing executive orders which amend statutory law and create legislative policy under the purported authority of the CESA (California Emergency Services Act), violating the California Constitution and the rights of plaintiffs thereunder and giving rise to a multiplicity of judicial proceedings, unless restrained by a permanent injunction.”

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Kiley wrote of the ruling on his blog that “The Court rejected Newsom’s extraordinary claim that a State of Emergency turns California into an autocracy and ‘centralizes the State’s powers in the hands of the Governor.’ This is the unlawful basis on which Newsom has collapsed California’s system of checks and balances, issuing 57 Executive Orders and changing over 400 laws unilaterally.”

In a tweet after the victory, Gallagher emphasized that their case was not a partisan attack on the governor, but rather an effort to ensure the proper separation of powers. “It’s about respecting that balance of power and the fundamental separation of powers that is fundamental to our system of government,” he wrote.

The Governor’s Office seems prepared to challenge the ruling, saying in a statement delivered after the ruling that “We strongly disagree with specific limitations this ruling places on the exercise of the Governor’s emergency authority.”

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