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Court upholds California governor's use of emergency powers

In their ruling Wednesday, three judges from the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento overturned a lower court that has said Newsom overstepped his authority.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court has upheld Gov. Gavin Newsom’s emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In their ruling Wednesday, three judges from the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento overturned a lower court that has said Newsom overstepped his authority.

The case resulted from a lawsuit brought by two Republican state legislators. Assemblymen James Gallagher and Kevin Kiley said Newsom issued dozens of emergency orders in what amounted to one-man rule. 

“Unfortunately, the Court then proceeded to a startling conclusion: that a State of Emergency gives a California Governor ‘the power to legislate.’ The California Supreme Court has repeatedly held this is forbidden by our State Constitution," Gallagher and Kiley said in a join statement. "In making this determination, the Court appears to rely upon a federal case from outside of California that not even Gov. Newsom cited as a relevant authority.

Indeed, Newsom did everything from halt evictions to allow marriages to be conducted by video or teleconference. The appeals court agreed that the governor acted within the broad emergency authority granted him in times of crisis. 

Kiley and Gallagher said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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