|(Nov. 24, 2020, 9:45 a.m.) -- So why did the Long Beach City Attorney's office send the Mayor/City Council a Nov. 13 memo (here) holding multiple aspects of Governor Newsom's COVID 19 actions and orders unlawful and enjoing them? Here's the Court's Nov. 13 order. Read it yourself.
The Superior Court opinion included this order: "Gavin Newsom, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California, is enjoined from and prohibited from exercising any power under the CA Emergency Services Act (Government Code section 8550 et seq) which amends, alters or changes existing statutory law or makes new statutory law or legislative policy."
Of course the Newsom administration is appealing this but that's not the issue here. .
Gavin Newsom is a sacred cow to Mayor Garcia and to some on LB's City Council. No, we can't prove it, but we suspect that's at least part of the reason LB's City Attorney's office fails to mention the relevant court ruling challenging Newsom's authority. Omitting it effectively helps Mayor Garcia and other likeminded politicians avoid pesky public questions.
To what extent does the Court's injunction (above) undercut actions by Gov. Newsom that the City of LB continues to treat as valid?
Could the City of LB publicly support the challenge to Governor Newsom's alleged overreach? We believe the answer is yes, simply requiring a City Council majority vote.
Could the City of Long Beach join as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) as the case advances on appeal, siding with those challenging the Governor's asserted authority? Again, we believe the answer is also yes, the City could do so with a Council majority vote.
Could the City of LB urge the League of CA Cities (to which it uses LB taxpayer dollars to pay costly membership dues) to defend the rights of cities on this matter? Again, we believe the answer is yes.
Yes, this would require action from LB's City Council which some incumbents likely want to avoid.
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The lawsuit challenging Governor Newsom's actions is and was political. It was brought by two Republican Assemblymembers: James Gallagher and Kevin Kiley. But the LB City Attorney's office should be blind to politics in this, pro or con. The only issue now is whether there are reasons to believe at least some of the Governor's orders are an invalid over-reach. A Superior Court judge heard the case and issued a detailed, reasoned opinion ruling against the Governor.
When we asked the City Attorney's office why it omitted mention of the Superior Court ruling from its memo to the Mayor and Council, a Deputy City Attorney offered the excuse that the Court's ruling went beyond the question the Council had asked the City Attorney's office to address.
Nice try, but no, The City Attorney's memo devotes several sections to reciting, and effectively accepting, the Governor's asserted authority to do what he's done and is doing. It can't credibly hide a court ruling declaring unlawful and enjoining what he's done and doing. .
This was always relevant but it's very timely now, as the City Attorney's action has effectively given LB's Mayor/Council political and legal cover to do and say nothing while Pasadena's City Council and the LA County Board of Supervisors publicly discuss whether to ban or allow outdoor restaurant dining.
In our opinion, the City Attorney's failure to disclose the Court's opinion and its underlying legal challenge to the Governor's authority was and is inexcusable and needs to be corrected.
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