Gov. Gavin Newsom Clings to COVID-19 Emergency Powers

The state is scheduled to ease its lockdowns on June 15. But Newsom still wants the power to control the terms.


California Gov. Gavin Newsom has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a controlling, micromanaging leadership style that few other governors can match. Even as other states have lifted a lot of COVID-19 restrictions for those who have been vaccinated, following the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Democrat is ordering the state to re-open on his terms, not easing up the rules until June 15.

And even though Newsom has declared that the state will be "reopening" that day, he announced Friday that he won't be declaring an end to the emergency and—the big issue here—won't be surrendering his emergency powers.

California's Emergency Services Act grants the governor extremely broad powers when he declares an emergency: "complete authority over all agencies of the state government and the right to exercise within the area designated all police power vested in the state by the Constitution and laws of the State of California." The act is explicit that when these emergencies are declared, the governor's orders "shall have the force and effect of law," albeit with some restrictions—he cannot suspend the Constitution or confiscate legally owned firearms.

"We're still in a state of emergency," Newsom said Friday. "This disease has not been extinguished. It's not vanished. It's not taking the summer months off."

Many diseases have not been extinguished or vanished, but it would be absurd for a governor to take near-complete control to respond to all of them. New COVID-19 cases and deaths in California have plunged to levels that can be managed without the governor's intrusive involvement.

Two Republican members of the California State Assembly, James Gallagher and Kevin Kiley, have been attempting to challenge the extent of Newsom's emergency authorities in court, arguing that the delegation of lawmaking power to the governor violates the state's constitution. The state's 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento upheld the law last month. Gallagher and Kiley are currently asking the California Supreme Court to take up the case.

Distressingly, the pushback against Newsom's move has fallen along partisan lines. Two Republican lawmakers introduced a bill in December that would limit the duration of a governor's emergency orders to 60 days, after which the governor would need to seek lawmakers' approval for each new regulation. The bill went nowhere. A Senate bill to terminate Newsom's original emergency declaration, also introduced in December, has similarly gone nowhere. The eight senators co-sponsoring that bill are all Republicans.

In other states, such efforts haven't been quite so partisan. In Kentucky, Ohio, and New York, lawmakers in both parties have been concerned about abuses of executive power.

The Los Angeles Times adds some useful context demonstrating the problems with giving the executive branch this much control. The state's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is recommending rules that will allow workers to be maskless only if their coworkers are all vaccinated and would require workplaces to maintain vaccination records for their employees. If any employee is unvaccinated, everybody has to wear masks. These rules are stricter than the CDC's recommendations, and infectious disease experts say they could be looser. But because of Newsom's emergency powers, the legisltors' ability to force changes to these rules is limited.

Newsom is facing a recall in the fall, so the voters will get an early opportunity to decide whether he has abused his authority. The politicians who have been calling the recall an attempt to "undermine democracy," as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) put it, should stop and take stock of what Newsom is doing here: He is deliberately excluding legislators from their constitutional role in crafting the state's laws. Who exactly is undermining democracy here?

NEXT: Biden’s Green Agenda Meets Environmental Red Tape

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  1. Wasn't there a guy in pop culture name Palpatine who didn't give up his emergency war powers when the war was done?

    1. Hitler too was elected by the popular vote.

      1. So was Biden...

        1. But is Biden a vegetarian?

          1. He's a vegetable, does that count?

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            2. I would say a rutabaga probably is more self aware than Biden.
              As his condition worsens, and it will, how are those in the White House going to keep it from the people? What is going through the minds of the Democrat leadership in congress concerning the time when Biden is so debilitated that he can no longer function?
              They must surely realize that Biden is not going to survive the next four years, at least mentally.

      2. I don't think that's quite accurate. IIRC, Hitler's party gained enough power that it was able to force a coalition government which made him prime minister (or the equivalent). That's not the same thing as Hitler himself being elected by popular vote.

        1. The Nazi Party had the largest single caucus in the legislature, and the communists were just behind for around 50% of the membership combined. It was impossible for the less radical parties to form an effective government without one or the other.

      3. No he wasn't. Hitler was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg. Hitler never won an election in his life.

    2. He also ensured the war lasted long enough for him to consolidate too much power for anyone to be able to take away from him

      1. Newsom = Hitler.

        Create a crisis, be a Dictator.

        Oldest trick in the Book.

        1. The truth is that there was a crisis in Germany at that time.
          Staggering inflation, loss of confidence in the government and the threat of communist take over.

  2. New COVID-19 cases and deaths in California have plunged to levels that can be managed without the governor's intrusive involvement.

    It was never about the coronavirus.

    1. They've been at that level all along.

    2. Of course it wasn't. It was about power and control, as it always is, especially with liberals.

  3. The best part is that Newsom and democrats keep stepping in their own horse manure, and never seem to get they are wallowing in shit.

    1. Frankly, the voters don't seem to care. Unless he gets caught in bed with an underage boy, or photographed in black face, he's going to sail right through the recall and be proclaimed emperor for life.

      1. Our California voters are definitely a huge part of the overall problem. I shudder to think what it would actually take for them to wise up.

        1. A quality public education system which is not controlled by the teacher's union?

        2. The coming M 9.2 + quake that liquifies Portland and Seattle will do the job.

          1. You tease.

      2. Virginia's gov had a photo of him and black face and the dems didn't really care.

        It's easy to slide when you know your team will not hold you accountable. Such as my gov (Cuomo).

        1. Cuomo laughs at #metoo, and 15,000 deaths.

    2. Newsom and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan were in a hay loft smoking weed that caught fire. The only way out was to jump into the hog pen full of shit.

      Newsome said: " Ill jump first and then yell up to you and tell you how deep it is."

      He jumps, lands and shouts " Its only Ankle Deep"

      Gretchen jumps and lands up to her neck in shit. She screams " You said it was only ankle deep!"

      He replied " it was, I jumped in head first."

      The two should hook up and spawn off some babies with Hitler moustaches.

      1. Please, do not remind those of us in Michigan, who have to deal with Grendel Whitler on a daily basis. She and her little neo-nazi attorney general are a very grave threat to us. You can be jailed for the act of speaking freely.
        Just ask Marlena Pavlos- Hackney, who had the audacity to appear on Tucker Carlson's show one evening and two days later she was arrested by the gestapo and hauled off to jail.

  4. Gov. Gavin Newsom Clings to COVID-19 Emergency Powers

    Another clinger, waiting to be replaced by his betters.

    /Rev Kirkles

    1. Meanwhile, clinger Newsom just—well, you know—CARRIES ON!!!!

  5. Last week our national company head of HR announced the rules were going away. Those who were vaccinated could come into to work wihtout any fooferal, could work from their cubicles while maskless, vending machines and toasters would be reopening, etc. Still pretty strict, but for this company it's outright anarchy.

    Then five minutes later the California head of HR sends out an email reminding those of us in California that the new rules do not apply to use. Must wear mask inside of cubicles, not vending machines, must continue to sanitize the coffee dispensers before and after use, temperature testing on every entrance, nasal swap testing every week, etc.

    Also, California OSHA met last week to revise its workplace rules in light of the recent CDC recommendations. The result? Rules more stringent than before.

    It's truly a state of karens.

    1. Seattle and my company: Masks today, masks tomorrow, masks forever.

      1. As KMW reported her neighbors in DC saying: "With the new CDC guidelines I want to take my mask off, but I'm worried people will think I'm a Republican."

        That's it in a nutshell. It wasn't about the science, it wasn't even about mindless worship of self appointed experts. It was always and ever will be about the partisan dress code.

        1. I’m seeing more outdoor mask wearing (including bicyclists and joggers) now than I used to a couple of months ago. (I’m reporting from Sunnyvale). Except for that “signaling” thing, I can’t for the life of me discern a reason for it.

          1. " you know, Morons!"

            Blazing Saddles

          2. "Except for that “signaling” thing"

            That's all it ever was. That and to stretch things out to take down Trump and to raid the Federal Treasury.

    2. wihtout any fooferal, What?

      vending machines and toasters would be reopening, etc. Vending machines and toaster reopening? Super dumb and incorrect point.

  6. Sounds like an 'enabling act' . They even have some cloth the 'unclean' must wear eveywhere.

    1. Its not an enabling act because those are bad but Dems are good.

  7. The CA Emergency Services Act dates to 1970. I assume a lot of these enabling acts date to the postwar era.

    How in the world did a bunch of people go fight the Nazis and then come home and say, "Hey, that Hitler guy had some good ideas!" ???

    1. It’s not like Roosevelt’s America was a libertarian paradise back then. I think the lesson most people got from the war is that authoritarianism works.

  8. Maybe Newsom can use his emergency powers to override Cal-OSHA's absurd rules.

    1. Part of me is paranoid enough to think cal/OSHA made the ridiculous rules so Newsome can override them before the recall and be seen as a hero.

      But then it's cal/OSHA, and since the unions were the ones arguing for masks they'll comply. Unions were about the only ones arguing for more strict rules at the meeting, everyone else was just pissed at the ridiculousness.

      1. Yes. The lower the COVID-19 infection rate numbers drop, the more stringent the rules become. Should we ever get down to zero infection rate I have no doubt CalOSHA and Newsom will declare martial law.

      2. No, Liberals have an inate abilily to be asswipes all on their own. They are born with it.

  9. Any opposition to masks and lockdowns is nothing more than a conservative backlash.

  10. Christ, what an asshole.

    1. The Liberal Creed:

      "" Its All About Me!"

      And baby killing..

  11. California has Bubonic Plague..."Although vaccines against plague have been developed in the past, there is currently no plague vaccine that's approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
    Probably no cure for flesh eating fungus either.
    Na,puppet-boy must await auntie Pelosi's blessing before he makes any political move.

    1. Well, just wait until the Bubonic plague erupts in the Skid Row district and sweeps across L.A. They already know the plague is showing up here and there.
      Can they even figure out why?
      L.A. may very well become a city from which escape may be impossible.

    2. Bubonic Plague is caused by a bacteria. By definition, you cannot have a vaccine for it.

  12. My shocked face is so shocked!


    1. I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you!

  13. Don't worry, he won't be clinging for long. It's recall time....

  14. The act is explicit that when these emergencies are declared, the governor's orders "shall have the force and effect of law," albeit with some restrictions—he cannot suspend the Constitution or confiscate legally owned firearms.

    Wouldn't it be grand if Newsom got recalled and his replacement used his emergency powers to rescind his emergency powers?

  15. Alameda County here in the Bay Area has just reduced its previous estimate of COVID related deaths by 25%

  16. This coronavirus will likely never vanish, like the 4 or 5 other coronaviruses that gave us some cross immunity.

    1. The coronas which cause flu dont vanish...

  17. I love how Bernie Sanders and many others from the Left are calling the utilization of a democratic process undemocratic

    1. One has to wonder if Sanders isn't nearly as brain damaged as Biden.

    2. Are you under the illusion that left wing politicians have principles?

  18. I find it hard to care about California. No doubt, many voted in November, thinking they were voting against the facist, totalitarian dictator.

    My only care is that those voters stay in California.

    1. Same here and the same goes for Portland, Seattle and San Fran.
      Could care less if those cities go up in flames or become literal toilets.
      Don't care at all.

  19. Californians are getting exactly what they want, good and hard.

  20. Picture caption above:

    " California- we just cant get it up."

  21. Gavin will give up his powers shortly when the recall election forces him out.

  22. The only thing worse than a fascist thug is a talentless, moronic, incompetent fascist thug ala Gavin Newsom.

    1. Without uniforms designed by Hugo Boss, even!

  23. Someone should tell him the rest of the country moved on weeks and months ago. The country is over the great virus.

  24. This is how the liberals remain in power. Of course, Newsom has no plans to give up any of that power because he considers himself above the rest of the people. The rest are all peons, that is those who earn less than a million dollars a year.
    It is obvious that Newsom is a grandiose narcissist, like Cuomo, remember him...the man who sent elderly patients into nursing homes to spread the covid untill thousands died, who revels in power and authority and has no plans yo give up any of that power, no matter what.
    Newsom comes from the same squalid family as Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Brown, and are all infected by the same disease of narcissism and the lust for power.
    At this point, as California continues to empty of middle class families thus creating a deficit of over $8 billion lost, even Silicon Valley, which by the way has gone past its sell by date and has nothing more to offer, the state is now simply running on fumes.
    Combine the highest rate of poverty amidst the extreme wealth of those who make the rules and control the government, soon, one should expect something very nasty to begin happening. The hypocrisy of the wealthy, particularly the movie and pop stars who pretend to support all those homeless with meaningless drivel will find them selves and their gated mansions surrounded by thousands of homeless people, many of them drug addicts and mentally disturbed.
    What then?

    1. Grandiose narcissism is probably the most common personality trait among politicians. Especially ones who think government can perfect society.

  25. Gavin Newsom treats convicted murderers and felons with more respect and offers them more liberty than he does law-abiding Californians.

  26. Another luke-warm denouncing of tryanny by a "libertarian" magazine. So blue pilled it's unbelievable.

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