Sacramento, Calif. — The Center for American Liberty (@Liberty_Ctr) in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. (@DhillonLaw) and the Law Office of D. Gill Sperlein filed a petition for rehearing en banc today for lawsuit the Givens v. Newsom to be heard by the 11 judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Citing recent cases such as Roman Catholic Diocese v. Cuomo and Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, the Center for American Liberty argues that “there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution, including the First Amendment’s requirement for swift review of orders that limit free speech rights.”
“Like Cuomo and Dayton, the Givens district court wrongly decided the purely legal question of the appropriate standard of review, resolution of the issue is clear, and injustice will result if this Court allows the panel’s decision to stand without intervening to correct the courts’ errors of law and providing Petitioners immediate injunctive relief,” the petition says.
“It is unacceptable for Governor Newsom to censor speech that challenges his own Constitution-negating policies,” said Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban), CEO of the Center for American Liberty. “The crackdown on speech — especially disfavored speech over the last year — has been startling and the stuff of dystopian sci-fi. Our courts must act now to enjoin this disturbing trend.”
Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020, ordering all residents to “heed current State public health directives,” requiring all residents to stay at home. Neither the Governor’s Order or state public health directives exempt demonstrations, protests, or other First Amendment-protected activities from enforcement. The Governor has also specifically ordered the California Highway Patrol to deny protest/rally permits at the State Capitol, a core First Amendment speech venue. The Governor’s orders thus deny all California residents the right to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech, free assembly, and petition.
Plaintiff Givens intends to protest the State’s failure to process background checks for those purchasing firearms as well as employment background checks for gun stores, effectively denying Californians of their Second Amendment rights.
Plaintiff Bish intends to protest the extent and duration of the State’s shelter-in-place order.
Both Plaintiffs Givens and Bish intend to hold their protests outside, on State Capitol grounds, in a safe and socially-distant manner. California Highway Patrol denied plaintiffs’ respective applications to use State Capitol grounds for their planned demonstrations depriving them of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.