Newsom lawyers defend legality of business closures in court – The Madison Leader Gazette
A a few Californian companies are continuing their fight to prove that Governor Gavin Newsom illegally closed his doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
California’s 5th District Court of Appeals heard arguments remotely Thursday morning in Ghost Golf et al. against Newsom.
Originally filed on October 28, 2020, the owners of the Fresno haunted house-themed miniature golf center claimed that Newsom, with his “master plan,” overstepped the separation of state powers when it has closed businesses and limited occupancy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A lower court sided with Newsom, saying the law allowed Newsom to take the actions it took without the blessing of the state legislators.
An attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the owner of Ghost Golf, reaffirmed his position that Newsom’s complex COVID-19 mitigation color-coding system was usurping the authority of the legislature of the state.
“It is the job of the legislature to weigh public health safety against competing economic and social concerns,” said Luke Wake, an attorney for the PLF. “It is not the role of the executive to decide which companies will be allowed to open and under what conditions.”
The state argued that claims that Newsom should have gone through the legislature instead of unilateral orders would have thwarted plans to respond quickly to a rapidly changing situation.
“A requirement that the legislature try to anticipate what is to come and provide particular standards would be in the words of [a previous ruling,] contrary to the objectives of the law, which is to equip the state with the tools to deal with emergencies that the legislature may not be able to foresee, ”said lawyer Aaron Jones.
While Newsom’s orders were legal, the case was not worth pursuing because similar closings are unlikely to be needed in the future thanks to the widespread availability of vaccines, Jones said. Judge Mark Snauffer questioned that claim, referring to rising infection rates involving the delta variant of the coronavirus and others that have yet to reach the country.
Snauffer asked both for the role of the legislature, or abdication, in authorizing Newsom’s shutdowns.
The court has adjourned and will deliberate between the three judges in private.
“Today we asked the court to prohibit the executive from legislating, which is the exclusive domain of the legislature. Our argument is simple: it is the role of the legislature, not the governor or the California Department of Public Health, to make major social and economic policy decisions, and the legislature cannot give a blank check to the executive to make all the rules. “Wake said after the hearing was over.” We hope the court will restore the rule of law and the separation of powers in California. “
The Newsom spokesperson declined to comment on the hearing.
The Ghost Golf Challenge is one of many challenges to Newsom’s executive powers.
If the companies ended up winning the case, California would join Michigan and Wisconsin in seeing its governor’s COVID-19 orders overturned as management overrun. Courts in Illinois and elsewhere have upheld their decrees.
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Keywords: States, News, Gavin Newsom, Cases, California, Court
Original author: Cole Lauterbach, The central square
Original location: Newsom lawyers defend legality of business closures in court