Oral arguments for Newsom’s use of power lawsuit begin Tuesday

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Gov. Gavin Newsom will likely face a few hurdles this week in the next steps of a recall and lawsuit over his use of power.  

Oral arguments begin Tuesday in the California Court of Appeal in Sacramento over a lawsuit questioning Newsom’s use of power amid the pandemic.

The next step comes after Newsom appealed a lower court’s ruling last year that he abused his executive power and use of the Emergency Services Act to change state law.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, is one of two Republican lawmakers taking the governor to court over the issue.

“We think the law is absolutely on our side, that the California constitution does not countenance an autocratic form of government under any circumstances,” explained Kiley.

Oral arguments come two weeks after the governor announced the state would drop pandemic-related restrictions and allow for a full reopening of the state on June 15.

“He’s planning to continue to exercise these sweeping emergency powers for over two more months, regardless of whether there is any justification for it. And so, I think it just all the more clearly demonstrates a need for a ruling by the courts,” Kiley said. “But it’s also going to be the first binding precedent by a California Court of Appeal relating to the limits of a governor’s emergency powers,.”

“We have to remember people that are filing the suit are Republican legislators who want the governor recalled,” explained Democratic strategist Steven Maviglio. “I mean, there is political motivation.”

Maviglio was press secretary for recalled Gov. Gray Davis.

“I think the governor got a lot of criticism from that in the public court, as opposed to the court system,” Maviglio said. “So I think he’s learned his lesson on that. But, you know, I think we’re also not in that kind of crisis mode now as we were back then.”

In the coming days election officials are set to determine whether a recall petition has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

How much the lawsuit could impact the recall effort is to be seen.

“I think everything the governor does in this day and age has to be viewed through the prism of the recall,” Maviglio said.

Newsom’s office has said the governor looks forward to defending the state’s emergency response to COVID-19 in the Court of Appeals.

Oral arguments begin Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

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