Judge Denies Request to Block California Governor’s Order Closing Beaches in Orange County

Two cities had voted to sue the state over Gavin Newsom's order

BY MIMI NGUYEN LY

A judge on Friday rejected a request to block California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to temporarily close all beaches and parks in Orange County.

Huntington Beach and Dana Point city are pursuing legal action against the state of California after Newsom on Thursday issued the order to close beaches in the county, effective Friday.

“The governor is acting without constitutional or statutory authority and is infringing on the cities’ right to control their own beaches,” a document filed in the Superior Court said, according to the Los Angeles Times. Dana Point city also joined in the suit, while nearby Newport city expressed its support.

California Superior Court judge Nathan R. Scott’s decision not to block Newsom’s order means that Orange County beaches will stay closed for now. The judge set a hearing for May 11 to give Huntington Beach an opportunity to make a case for an injunction.

“It’s a difficult task. [Temporary restraining orders] are hard to get but it is the first step in the process,” Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates said after the hearing on Friday, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Hundreds of people on Friday took to the streets in Huntington Beach to protest Newsom’s order.

Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta said in a press release late Thursday that Newsom’s order “significantly impacts” residents, calling it a “jarring decision.”

“Given that Orange County has among the lowest per-capita COVID-19 death rates in California, the action by the state prioritizes politics over data, in direct contradiction of the governor’s stated goal to allow science and facts to guide our response to this horrible global pandemic,” she said.

“Our experience locally had been that most people were being responsible and complying with social distancing requirements,” the press release also stated.

The Huntington Beach City Council in an emergency meeting had voted 5-2 on Thursday in favor of directing the City Attorney to seek an injunction against Newsom’s order.

About 30 miles south of Huntington Beach, Dana Point City Council voted 4-1 to seek a temporary restraining order against Newsom and the state of California over the beach shut down order, according to Dana Point City Attorney Patrick Munoz.

“The city will be seeking a temporary restraining order asking the court to enjoin his order until a full hearing on the merits of the matter can occur,” Munoz told CNN.

Newsom at a press conference on Thursday described his order as a “hard close” in the Orange County area, noting that “specific issues on some of those beaches [in Orange County] have raised alarm bells.”

He had earlier reacted to images showing people at some Orange County beaches—most notably Newport Beach—gathering in crowds over last weekend.

“The reality is we are just a few weeks away, not months away, from making measurable and meaningful changes to our stay-at-home order,” the governor said at a press briefing on April 27, referring to his statewide mandate issued on March 19.

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts,” he also said.

There are about 2,537 people in Orange County who have been infected with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, 50 of whom have died, according to the county’s public health department.

The county has reported an increase in new cases in the past few days, with 133 new cases on April 30 and 163 new cases on May 1.

Follow Mimi on Twitter: @MimiNguyenLy

Republished with Permission The Epoch Times    SUBSCRIBE


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ExCaliExpat

NOW maybe we can get people seriously motivated to recall Newsom and his tyrannical policies…