The state takes flak from a number of damaged Californians. Plaintiffs include gondoliers, conservative politicians, hairdressers and manicurists.
CALIFORNIA, USA – In addition to the disputed beach goers, the outraged gun shop owners and the home-made pastors, Governor Gavin Newsom has now ticked off even more challengers in court: frustrated parents who want schools to reopen despite the pandemic.
And not to forget an extremely disappointed future bride. Monica Six, a resident of Orange County, is suing the California Democratic Governor for violations of civil rights after his order "caused her significant financial hardship and ruined her idyllic wedding plans" to question the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic married on a special anniversary. "
Six is overcrowded in the lawsuit against the state. As of mid-July, the state of California, and Newsom in particular, has faced more than 30 lawsuits for responding to the coronavirus pandemic. (Below is the CalMatters tracker.)
The game in the courtroom is not a surprise. The restrictions the governor imposed on California civil and economic life on March 19 were unprecedented in the state's history. Partial reopening in many counties led to coronavirus spikes, which in turn led to restrictions. Many health experts say that such drastic measures were necessary to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed and more Californians dying.
But they are drastic measures. Aside from closed school buildings and canceled weddings, this has led to financial disasters for households, business owners, nonprofits, and city administrations across the state. They also examined the limits of executive power and the ability to negotiate many constitutional rights.
Most lawsuits against Newsom question the general restrictions imposed by the arrangement of local accommodations. Others deny the governor's offer to provide state support to undocumented immigrants, his targeted closure of beaches in Orange County, the refusal to list arms shops as essential services, and the arrest of two protesters.
Elected Republicans and GOP candidates have also contested Newsom's order that all registered Californian voters be sent a ballot for the November election – despite two out of three being rejected.
Although the state has removed flak from a number of damaged Californians – gondoliers, conservative politicians, and a musician from Butte County who plays his saxophone through zoom are among the plaintiffs – there is a common denominator for many of these lawsuits: their name is Harmeet Dhillon.
Of the more than 30 lawsuits against Newsom, the San Francisco lawyer and the Bigwig represent the Republican Party in almost half of the plaintiffs.
The governor, Dhillon said, "went from" let's flatten the curve for two weeks "to" let's all put under house arrest until we find a cure. "
More than 2,500 Californians have died of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel corona virus. Dhillon said that she does not illuminate this tragedy, but does not believe that it justifies the closure of society.
"We don't close our highways because people die in car accidents," she said. “We don't ban trading because people die of lung disease after buying cigarettes. There are a number of health problems that we are dealing with at an acceptable risk. "
Public health experts argue that "managing" the risk of an overwhelmed medical system requires stricter restrictions on social control because the coronavirus is so contagious as car accidents and lung cancer.
A recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that the state's placement order reduced the number of deaths by 1,661, resulting in "approximately 400 job losses per life saved," the authors say.
Dhillon has long played the role of counter-hit against the progressive ambitions of the State Democrats, which now hold every state constitutional office and a large majority in the legislature. When lawmakers passed a bill asking President Trump to publish his taxes so that he could appear on the ballot, it was Dhillon, the California Republican Party's national committee woman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the California GOP. Last year she sued Foreign Minister Alex Padilla for failing to do enough to exclude non-citizens from the county's electoral roll.
On the way, Dhillon cobbled together a small phalanx of California Republicans to help her wage war against the liberal powers. Mark Meuser, who ran in 2018 on a plank against election fraud for the Foreign Minister, is on her team. In some cases of the pandemic, she is supported by Bill Essayli – a young former prosecutor who unsuccessfully ran for the assembly in 2018.
Even if she doesn't sue the state, Dhillon's name appears whenever a new hot spot of cultural war breaks out in California.
Do you remember when software developer James Damore sued Google after he was released for distributing a memo claiming that under-representation of women in technology had a biological basis? Or the student groups that brought UC Berkeley to court for canceling a scheduled conversation with the conservative Ann Coulter brand, citing security concerns? Or the Trump supporters in San Jose who were upset by counter-demonstrators and then sued the police? Or the Orange County anti-abortion activist who sued a former planned parenting doctor for badly talking to him during a TEDx conversation?
Dhillon is the plaintiff's lawyer in each of these cases.
Dhillon is indeed a regular in the conservative media community. She writes for Fox News and is a frequent guest on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" and "Ingraham Angle", whose host Laura Ingraham, Dhillon, has described as a "long-time mentor". At last year's conservative political action conference, Dhillon received perhaps the most coveted of all the rights of the American right: "She is a great lawyer," President Donald Trump told Hayden Williams, a conservative activist who was physically attacked at UC Berkeley campus. "Sue the college, the university, and maybe sue the state." She has not.
Dhillon was born in India and grew up in North Carolina before moving to Dartmouth, where, like many members of the American Right Intelligence, she published the Dartmouth Review.
After attending the law school at the University of Virginia and working in various law firms in New York and London, she opened her own office in San Francisco in 2006. Although her views have been distorted all her life, practicing in the Bay Area has not always blended seamlessly with the rest of her party.
First, there is the fact that she is a colored Sikh woman in a party dominated by white men.
At the height of the war on terror, she was on the board of the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, to the dismay of some GOP stalwarts. When she ran for the Senate in San Francisco in 2012, she tried to avoid dangerous social problems like abortion.
You don't hear much dislike of controversy from her these days.
In fact, further shutdown lawsuits against Newsom could soon be on the way. Dhillon said her office was flooded with inquiries from potential customers.
"We have a quality control. We don't just turn them out like sausages, even if it seems so, ”she said. "People are fed up."
Many of the cases submitted by Dhillon are paid for by a non-profit organization she founded, the Center for American Liberty. Dhillon said her law firm was one of many hired by the center and her law firm was working with other clients.
The center, which finances the legal services of its law firm, is financed by individual donors whose contributions to the non-profit organization are tax-free. Dhillon said that she is probably the top donor and that "more than 50 percent" of the centre's money comes from her seed funding and three other major donors she would not name.
Submissions to the IRS show that the center, under its former name Publius Lex, received less than $ 50,000 in contributions in 2018 and was therefore not required to list its contributors. Registration for 2019 has not yet been made available.
Since the pandemic began, Dhillon said that the nonprofit organization had received tens of thousands of dollars in donations, but that the legal bill that resulted from the repeated lawsuit against the state "significantly exceeded" that number.
"I haven't got a cent for these cases yet," she insisted. "I'm not sure I will be."
Other non-profit supporters of the cases filed against California are the National Center for Law & Policy, which made headlines in 2015 when it sued the Encinitas public school district for treating its students as "religious guinea pigs" by subjecting them to yoga classes . and Freedom X, a Los Angeles-based organization that lists the fight against "intellectual McCarthyism" and "creeping Sharia" as its main campaigns.
The lawsuits against California's protective orders are just beginning to meander through the legal system. As both the state and counties begin to relax their various protective orders, the complaints can be irrelevant before reaching a court decision.
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But no one has been very lucky so far. None of those who asked the court to freeze government orders while the case was going on were granted, and so far four have been explicitly rejected.
Not surprisingly, said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Berkeley Law School.
"Simply put, these lawsuits are very likely to lose since most of these challenges have failed across the country," he said in an email. “The government has extensive powers to take immediate action to stop the spread of communicable diseases. This includes the power to order quarantine or accommodation, order company closings, and restrict meetings, including for religious purposes. As long as government action is adequately linked to curbing the spread of COVID-19, the government is likely to prevail. "
Dhillon said she was playing the long game. As the judges put down their petitions to put the nationwide order on hold – she said her reasons were "pretty little analyzed" – she could go to a higher court.
In the meantime, she is reviewing court rulings in Kansas and Illinois, where judges have acted against public health regulations.
"I hope one day to find a judge in California who has a similarly broad view of the constitution," she said.
This process tracker is reported by Ben Christopher and created by web developer John Osborn D’Agostino.
You can view the individual lawsuits here.
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– California Governor's Office (@CAgovernor) July 20, 2020
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