Gonging Gavin: An American Liberties Group Sues California's Governor for Violating Citizens' 1st and 14th Amendment Rights

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

 

 

On Monday, an American liberties organization filed suit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, accusing him of “depriving” citizens of their constitutional right to free speech.

Gavin’s not a fan of West Coasters being out and about lately — he said people could go to select open beaches, until a lot of people went to select open beaches.

Last Thursday, he delivered the following at a press conference:

“People are prone to want to go to the beaches, parks, playgrounds and go on a hike. If it is open, just abide by social distancing.”

But the next day, 40,000 people showed up to catch some rays by the seashore. Same for Saturday.

In the aftermath, as reported by RedState’s Becca Lower, Monday’s press briefing served up a mutated message:

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off, this virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful, sunny day along our coast … We can’t see the images like we saw, particularly on Saturday in Newport Beach and elsewhere.”

The guy’s not afraid to shut things down, and that goes for protests against him for shutting things down.

In fact, the governor’s March 19th Executive Order — N-33-20 — put the kibosh on demonstrations altogether.

Therefore, California residents Ron Givens and Christine ‘Chris’ Bish are suing Newsom, Cali AG Xavier Becerra, and two other state officials. The suit claims residents are being stripped of their 1st and 14th amendment rights.

A press release by Harmeet Dhillon, CEO of the Center for American Liberty — who, in coordination with the firms of D. Gill Sperlein and the Dhillon Law Group, is handling the case — puts it this way:

“Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20…ordering all residents to “heed current State public health directives,” requiring all residents to stay at home. Neither the Governor’s Order or state public health directives exempt demonstrations, protests, or other First Amendment-protected activities from enforcement. The Governor has also specifically ordered the California Highway Patrol to deny protest/rally permits at the State Capitol, a core First Amendment speech venue. The Governor’s orders thus deny all California residents the right to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech, free assembly, and petition.”

Ron and Christine are “seeking a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.”

As noted by Harmeet, Gavin is a terrible, terrible governor. I mean, he’s not listening to those questioning his decisions; rather, he’s legally forcing them to shut up:

“At a time when Californians are rightfully questioning the duration and extent of the stay at home orders, which are unevenly enforced and which have resulted in other Constitutional challenges, Governor Newsom has reacted to citizen protests not by addressing widespread concern, but simply by shutting down protest at the Capitol altogether, making no reasonable accommodations for this fundamental function in a free society. Our lawsuit seeks to vindicate several core First Amendment rights — the right to free speech, to assemble, and to petition the government. The government is also violating fundamental equal protection and due process rights.”

The suit is right. Gavin’s silenced the state — how can you protest being forced not to protest? It’s like comedian Mitch Hedberg said: “I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.”

Newsom’s knuckleheadedness is as anti-American as it gets.

Back to the beaches, the government’s doing a stellar job there, as officers patrol the shoreline to make sure senior citizens don’t use chairs (see that absurdity here).

And if you’re in Riverside County, you’re welcome to swim in that large public-use pool calling your name — so long as only one person’s in it at a time (here).

Maybe you can game the system and four of you can enjoy it at once — each putting in only one arm or leg.

But whether sectional-submersion swimming is your cup of tea, and irrespective of your penchant for proper seaside seating, you citizens of the Golden State will at least get to involuntarily pay people to order food from restaurants (more here).

You got some reeeeal problems, California.

[Find the Center for American Liberty’s press release in its entirety below]

-ALEX

 

The Center for American Liberty, in coordination with the Law Office of D. Gill Sperlein and the Dhillon Law Group, on behalf of clients Ron Givens and Christine “Chris” Bish, sued California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and two other state officials for depriving plaintiffs of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

The plaintiffs are also seeking a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.

Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020, ordering all residents to “heed current State public health directives,” requiring all residents to stay at home. Neither the Governor’s Order or state public health directives exempt demonstrations, protests, or other First Amendment-protected activities from enforcement. The Governor has also specifically ordered the California Highway Patrol to deny protest/rally permits at the State Capitol, a core First Amendment speech venue. The Governor’s orders thus deny all California residents the right to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech, free assembly, and petition.

Plaintiff Givens intends to protest the State’s failure to process background checks for those purchasing firearms as well as employment background checks for gun stores, effectively denying Californians of their Second Amendment rights.

Plaintiff Bish intends to protest the extent and duration of the State’s shelter-in-place order.

Both Plaintiffs Givens and Bish intend to hold their protests outside, on State Capitol grounds, in a safe and socially-distant manner. California Highway Patrol denied plaintiffs’ respective applications to use State Capitol grounds for their planned demonstrations depriving them of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

“In times of crisis, governments often seek to curtail fundamental constitutional rights such as the right to assemble and petition the government. It is precisely at these times that those rights become the most important,” said D.Gill Sperlein, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

“At a time when Californians are rightfully questioning the duration and extent of the stay at home orders, which are unevenly enforced and which have resulted in other Constitutional challenges, Governor Newsom has reacted to citizen protests not by addressing widespread concern, but simply by shutting down protest at the Capitol altogether, making no reasonable accommodations for this fundamental function in a free society,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Liberty, Harmeet K. Dhillon, whose law firm, Dhillon Law Group Inc., also represents the plaintiffs. “Our lawsuit seeks to vindicate several core First Amendment rights — the right to free speech, to assemble, and to petition the government. The government is also violating fundamental equal protection and due process rights. We will be seeking a temporary restraining order in federal court ordering that our clients and other citizens be permitted to protest safely and peacefully again, as is their right under both the California and U.S. Constitutions.”

 

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