Encouraging news out of California as the third court in a week has ruled against the State/local governments regarding COVID lockdown orders.
Mark Meuser, who is the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate (facing off against Democrat Alex Padilla in November), shared the good news via his Twitter feed on Monday:
Meuser is not an attorney of record on the three cases at issue, but as a constitutional law attorney who has been fighting back against COVID tyranny, he’s very encouraged to see these wins and glad to share the news. I had an opportunity to speak with Meuser Monday afternoon regarding these three monumental victories.
The most recent of the rulings involves Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill and their ongoing battle with the City of Burbank, which we’ve covered previously here at RedState. Tinhorn Flats has been vocal in its opposition to Governor Gavin Newsom’s draconian shutdown orders and, after the City sued the business for its failure to comply, Tinhorn Flats countersued, asserting that the government was targeting the business for speaking out and thereby violating its First Amendment rights. In Monday’s ruling, the Los Angeles Superior Court rejected the government’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that Tinhorn Flats has alleged a proper cause of action and allowing the countersuit to proceed. As Meuser noted to me, this is a procedural victory, not a substantive one — yet, but this was a critical hurdle to clear.
In the case involving the San Jose Calvary Chapel, the Sixth District Court of Appeals for California found that sanctions imposed against the church’s pastor for failure to obey Newsom’s and the local government’s shutdown orders must be removed. Those shutdown orders were subsequently found to be unconstitutional — the government did not have the authority to shut down churches. Therefore, it was improper to sanction the pastor for failing to obey those unconstitutional orders.
The other recent victory involved an Orange County nail salon. As Meuser explained, under California’s code, if a government commandeers property pursuant to an emergency order, the government must compensate the property owner for that taking. The salon contends that since Newsom, through his orders, picked and chose which businesses were “essential” and which were not, this amounted to commandeering of the business that were ordered to shut down, and thus they are owed compensation. The court, in that case, ruled that the salon’s case could proceed.
Meuser pointed out that any one of these wins alone would be big. All three of them coming within the past week is huge and will have a major impact on future cases.