By Bethany Blankley
(The Center Square) – Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman denied Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two Republican state legislators over an executive order related to the state’s election process. The decision sets the stage for a trial scheduled for Oct. 21.
Newsom’s office attempted to have the case thrown out on a “mootness” technicality, which the judge denied Friday.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, and Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, sued Newsom earlier this year over an executive order that seeks to implement voting by mail for registered California voters as an alternative to in-person voting.
Attorneys for Newsom filed a 33-page “Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings,” arguing the lawsuit was moot because the issue of separation of powers raised in the case was academic and as a matter or law, “flexible” and “pragmatic.”
The legislators argued Newsom was trying to avoid the trial “on a technicality,” and that separation of powers is included in the state constitution for a reason – to prevent a governor from changing and amending laws without the state legislature.
The ruling follows a previous win handed to the legislators in June when a judge granted a preliminary injunction against Newsom, prohibiting the state from mailing millions of mail-in ballot applications to voters.
Following the ruling, a pre-trial conference takes place Monday with the governor’s attorneys in preparation for the trial.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley says he is hopeful they will win at the trial. He said in a statement to supporters that he believes “the law, the facts, and the people of California are on our side.”
If they were to lose their case, Kiley argues, “Gavin Newsom will keep ruling California by decree. Our state will slide further into autocracy. Our civic institutions will be grievously, perhaps permanently, damaged. And millions of Californians will continue to pay the price.”