Breaking Update: Center for American Liberty Sues to Reopen Orange County’s Beaches

“Governor Newsom is not above the law, and he does not own the beaches — the people do.”

May 1, 2020—The Center for American Liberty, in coordination with the Dhillon Law Group and Essayli & Brown LLP and on behalf of plaintiffs Joseph Muller, Laura Ferguson, and Gregory Raths, were denied a temporary restraining order by a California Superior Court judge today after filing an emergency petition for writ this morning seeking to reopen Orange County’s beaches in the face of Governor Newsom’s surprising order April 30 shouting down only the beaches of Orange County.

“On behalf of our clients, citizens of Orange County, we are disappointed that the Court did not issue a writ today, but pleased that he ordered the government to respond in writing by Wednesday as to why the beaches should be shut in Orange County by unilateral decree of the Governor,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Liberty, Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban). “Governor Newsom’s off-the-cuff, solo rule making based on misleading press reports does not meet the constitutional standards of strict scrutiny safeguarding the rights of Californians — the rights to assembly, travel, liberty, and access to our beaches under the California Constitution. We look forward to hearing the governor defend this indefensible order in court.”

The judge ordered the government to show cause and must do so by Wednesday, May 6 at 12 p.m. The Center for American Liberty then has until Friday, May 8 at 12 p.m. to respond to the government. There will then be a second hearing on Monday, May 11 at 2 p.m.

Governor Newsom ordered the closure of all public beaches in Orange County during an April 30 press conference, effective on May 1. The writ argues that Newsom does not have the power to do so, and is prohibited by the Constitutions of California and The United States from infringing the rights to beach/waterway access and liberty guaranteed by the California Constitution, and the rights to equal protection, due process, travel, and assembly under the U.S. Constitution.

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