California County Suing Governor Over Coronavirus Restrictions

( San Bernardino County in California is suing Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom over his latest coronavirus restrictions. The county officials say California’s “one-size-fits-all” restrictions don’t suit the conditions that are happening in many communities throughout the state.

San Bernardino County is the largest county in terms of area in the contiguous 48 states. On Tuesday, supervisors in the county unanimously voted to have county attorneys prepare a lawsuit that would challenge the governor’s orders.

The supervisors are saying that some of the communities in their county should be evaluated based on the lighter coronavirus caseloads they have and the local conditions, rather than being treated exactly like every other part of the state.

One of the supervisors, Janice Rutherford, said:

“The temperatures are dropping. There is snow on the ground in some places, yet according to the governor’s orders, people are expected to eat outside. It’s ridiculous.”

On Monday, Newsom moved just about every county in California into the “purple tier” designation. That banned all indoor religious services and indoor dining. It also limited capacity at retail stores to 25%.

On Thursday, he issued even more restrictions on those counties, requiring them to implement a curfew on a nightly basis. This “limited stay-at-home order” will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., starting on November 21 and ending December 21. Newsom said this was being done, “in light of an unprecedented, rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California.”

He continued:

“Activities conducted during 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. are often nonessential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood for adherence to safety measures,” such as social distancing and wearing a mask.

The seven-day positivity rate for coronavirus in California is close to the level that it reached over the summer, according to a New York Times report. Many other areas of the country are beginning to reimpose restrictions because of this.

This will be yet another lawsuit that California and Newsom have faced regarding coronavirus restrictions. Just last month, a Catholic priest filed a lawsuit that sought to end the state’s indefinite state of emergency.

The priest who is bringing the suit, Father Trevor Burfitt, oversees churches in many different counties throughout California. He says the governor’s orders are unlawful because there’s no end date to them, and they are overly broad.

According to the lawsuit:

“The California Constitution does not permit the State’s Governor to impose any ’emergency’ restriction of fundamental rights he deems appropriate. Rather, any restrictions or measures that the Governor imposes must be narrowly tailored, limited in time, and serve interests of the highest order, not any goal the Governor wishes to achieve.”

Newsom came under additional fire this week for violating his own coronavirus restrictions when he was seen at a birthday party at a swanky restaurant in Napa Valley. The guests were tightly packed together, not wearing masks and even indoors.