Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Legislator­s petition CA Supreme Court Gallagher and Kiley concerned with governor’s actions during pandemic

- By Lynzie Lowe llowe@appealdemo­

After a ruling on the matter was overturned by the California Third District Court of Appeals earlier this year, local legislator­s are taking their concerns about the governor’s actions during the pandemic to the California Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, Assemblyme­mbers James Gallagher (R-yuba City) and

Kevin Kiley (R-rocklin) filed a petition with the California Supreme Court asking the court to review their case challengin­g Governor Gavin Newsom’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original lawsuit, which was filed in Sutter County, challenged an executive order issued by the governor that

changed several portions of the election code in response to the pandemic.

Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman sided with the plaintiffs in November 2020 and overturned Newsom’s executive order, while also imposing a permanent injunction on the governor from exercising certain powers under emergency circumstan­ces.

Soon after, the governor’s legal team appealed the decision in the California Third District Court of Appeals. Both parties presented oral arguments before the appellate court in April before the three justices overseeing the case released a decision largely siding with the governor.

According to Gallagher, the appellate court agreed with several arguments raised by him and Kiley in the ruling but the court diverged on one major point regarding a statute that was interprete­d by the justices to give all police powers to the governor

Serving all of Northern California since 1981

Locally owned and operated

during emergencie­s, including certain legislativ­e powers.

“This is a concerning ruling for many different reasons,” said Gallagher. “We believe he abused his powers during this unpreceden­ted emergency and he did not have the constituti­onal legislatio­n to do so...while the court ruled in his favor, that doesn’t mean we as legislator­s just go away. We strongly disagree with his actions and believe they were wrong, unsound and cannot withstand the constituti­onal muster.”

Gallagher also said he believes the appellate court’s ruling sets a bad precedent for lawmakers and gives the idea that the governor can make whatever kind of laws

they see fit during an emergency.

“That is not acceptable in a democracy,” said Gallagher.

For now, Gallagher said, it is a waiting game to hear if the California Supreme Court will agree to hear the petition.

“I hope to have a response from the court in the next few weeks,” said Gallagher.

Should the court agree to hear the petition, Gallagher said it is hard to say how long it will be until a final decision is made.

“I hope, considerin­g the importance and urgency of the issue, that the court accepts to review the petition quickly and it is streamline­d in a timely manner,” said Gallagher.

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