Oral arguments for Newsom’s use of power lawsuit set to begin


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Governor 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.

This next step comes after the government 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.

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

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley is one of two Republican lawmakers taking the governor to court over the issue. 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 15th.

“He’s planning to continue to exercise these sweeping emergency powers for over two more months, regardless if there’s any more justification for it. It just clearly demonstrates an even more need for the ruling by the courts that places appropriate limits. This is also going to be the first binding precedent by a California court of appeal relating to a Governor’s emergency powers so that’s going to be important for the future as well,” Kiley said.

“We have to remember people that are filing the suit are republican legislators who want the Governor recalled. There is the political motivation here,” Steven Maviglio, Democratic Strategist, said. 

Steve Maviglio was press secretary for recalled Governor Gray Davis and is now a Democratic strategist.

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

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

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

“I think everything the Governor does 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 appeal, oral arguments begin Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

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