Lawsuit against Newsom’s executive order headed to trial

A Sutter County Superior Court judge denied motions filed by two local legislators and the state’s head official regarding an ongoing lawsuit alleging Gov. Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority in issuing an executive order ahead of the upcoming November election.

Following Judge Sarah Heckman’s decision on Thursday, the lawsuit will proceed to trial starting Oct. 21 in Sutter County.

Earlier this year, local Assemblyman James Gallagher and Rocklin Assemblyman Kevin Kiley filed a request for a temporary restraining order against an executive order issued by Newsom regarding how the upcoming election process would work. The order modified various aspects of the upcoming election process, like requiring county election officials to use the state’s vote-by-mail tracking system, and loosening requirements on the need for in-person meetings with voting rights groups.

The temporary restraining order was accepted by a Sutter County judge in June but was later vacated by the California Third District Court of Appeal after the governor challenged the decision. Both parties filed motions for judgement in hopes of avoiding a trial – what this week’s hearing was about – but were ultimately denied by Heckman, who will preside over the trial later this month.

If the court sides with Gallagher and Kiley, Executive Order N-67-20 would be rescinded and the governor would be prevented from unilaterally amending, altering, or changing existing statutory law or making new statutory law. A decision in the governor’s favor would uphold the executive order and end the lawsuit.

Either outcome likely won’t have a noticeable impact on the upcoming election.

Gallagher said while he has concerns about the executive order itself, his main objection is in how the governor unilaterally made the changes without going through the proper legislative process. He said the lawsuit is largely about trying to establish a precedent to keep the governor’s powers in check.

“I think there would be some implications for the election but us winning won’t mean the election stops or prevents anyone from voting,” Gallagher said. “A victory in our case would adjoin the governor here going forward that he wouldn’t be able to make unilateral changes to statutory law.”

 

– Jake Abbott, jabbott@appealdemocrat.com


What do you think?

To Halloween or not to Halloween? That’s the question

It’s one more major American event that will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked our Facebook friends what they plan to do this coming Halloween (a Saturday, this year).

We asked, “Planning anything new, different, unique, never done before for this year’s ghouliday?” A couple sample comments:

– Marcy King O’Rourke: We have always given candy to upwards of, in some years, 300 kids and I love seeing the costumes. However, this year our lights will be off and we will not be giving Halloween treats. The COVID threat is just too real.

– Lyssa Clark: My husband and I are empty-nesters and I easily catch a common cold from children but love to see them every year dressed up in their costumes so… My husband is trying to create a way for us to hand out the candy without coming in contact so......we’ll wait and see what happens!

More comments on this and other topics in the Open Forum on page A8.

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