California Court Finds Gavin Newsom’s Vote-by-Mail Decree Unconstitutional

Gavin Newsom
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A state court in California found that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s exercise of emergency powers, including a vote-by-mail decree earlier this year, violated the constitutional separation of powers, though the decision will not affect the November election.

Judge Sarah H. Heckman ruled that while California’s emergency law, the California Emergency Services Act, was constitutional, Newsom’s orders were not because they rewrote statutory law, which only the legislature can do.

Two Republicans, State Assemblymen Kevin Kiley (R-Yuba City) and James Gallagher (R-Rocklin), challenged Newsom’s executive order earlier in the year establishing new vote-by-mail rules. They contended that the governor had usurped state law.

Though the state legislature — in which Democrats have supermajorities in both houses — later largely codified Newsom’s order, the judge held that the case was not moot because Newsom had continued to issue broad, sweeping executive orders.

As such, she issued an injunction preventing Newsom from issuing further executive orders under the emergency law.

Kiley and Gallagher were exuberant, even though the court’s decision did not affect the election process, because the order, if upheld, would end the shutdowns that have become increasingly unpopular in many parts of the Golden State (and are being at least partially ignored in many instances).

The governor’s office reportedly disagrees with the ruling. It has ten days to respond before the court order is final.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.