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Judge limits California governor's powers during coronavirus pandemic

Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman tentatively ruled Monday that one of the dozens of executive orders Newsom has issued overstepped his authority.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this June 5, 2020, file photo, Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. A Northern California county judge on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, preliminarily ordered Newsom to stop issuing directives related to the coronavirus that might interfere with state law. Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman tentatively ruled that one of the dozens of executive orders Newsom has issued overstepped his authority and impinged on the state Legislature. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A judge has preliminarily ordered California Gov. Gavin Newsom to stop issuing directives related to the coronavirus that might interfere with state law. 

Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman tentatively ruled Monday that one of the dozens of executive orders Newsom has issued overstepped his authority.

She more broadly barred him from infringing on the state Legislature. 

It’s the second time a judge in the same county has reached the conclusion, which runs counter to other state and federal court decisions backing the governor’s emergency powers.

The case centers on a single Newsom executive order in June requiring election officials to establish hundreds of locations statewide where voters can cast ballots. Lawmakers subsequently approved the same requirement, and the judge's decision will have no effect on Tuesday's election.

Heckman’s decision will become final in 10 days. 

Newsom did not immediately comment. 

More details from the Associated Press HERE.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES

CORONAVIRUS CONTEXT

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine. The CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

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