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Civil Liberties Group FIles Suit Against California's Governor for Banning Protests


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California Governor Gavin Newsom has been sued for his order banning protests in the state.

According to The Daily Wire:

On Monday, the Center for American Liberty filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) for “depriving” Californians of their constitutionally protected rights of free speech, assembly and petition by effectively barring public protests through the enforcement of his “stay-at-home” orders.

In a press release Monday (full text below), the Center for American Liberty announced that it has filed the lawsuit on behalf of two Californians and in coordination with the high-profile firms of D. Gill Sperlein and the Dhillon Law Group. The lawsuit was filed “on behalf of clients Ron Givens and Christine ‘Chris’ Bish,” who are suing Newsom, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and two other state officials “for depriving [them] of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights,” the release states. “The plaintiffs are also seeking a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.”

“Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020, ordering all residents to ‘heed current State public health directives,’ requiring all residents to stay at home,” the Center for American Liberty explains. “Neither the Governor’s Order or state public health directives exempt demonstrations, protests, or other First Amendment-protected activities from enforcement. The Governor has also specifically ordered the California Highway Patrol to deny protest/rally permits at the State Capitol, a core First Amendment speech venue. The Governor’s orders thus deny all California residents the right to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech, free assembly, and petition.”

“At a time when Californians are rightfully questioning the duration and extent of the stay at home orders, which are unevenly enforced and which have resulted in other Constitutional challenges, Governor Newsom has reacted to citizen protests not by addressing widespread concern, but simply by shutting down protest at the Capitol altogether, making no reasonable accommodations for this fundamental function in a free society,” said Harmeet Dhillon, CEO of the center. “Our lawsuit seeks to vindicate several core First Amendment rights — the right to free speech, to assemble, and to petition the government. The government is also violating fundamental equal protection and due process rights.”

The lawsuit is in response to the California Highway Patrol announcing they will not issue protest permits for state properties. Perhaps they should address permits for protesting while they are at it.