The Governor is Not a King

Governor Gavin Newsom has wielded unchecked power throughout the pandemic with the use of executive orders. Unchecked until now, that is. On Friday, Superior Court Judge Sarah H. Heckman issued a permanent injunction declaring that Governor Gavin Newsom’s use of executive orders when they amend or create law is unconstitutional. It seems a pattern of the governor to push the limits of his power in challenging both legislative statutes and laws created by voters.

The court action was sought by Assemblymembers James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) who challenged an executive order that had to do with elections at the time of the pandemic emergency.

But Judge Heckman saw the executive order issue in a much broader context, “whether  the Governor has the authority under the California Emergency Services Act (CESA) to exercise legislative powers by unilaterally amending, altering, or changing exiting statutory law.”

The governor’s lawyers argued that under the police powers vested in the governor during emergencies, he had the right and duty to make adjustments to laws to face the crisis.

The judge didn’t see it that way. She said CESA allows the governor to alter regulations to confront emergencies but does not permit the governor to amend or create laws even in an emergency. The judge pointed to the state Constitution that specifically confers lawmaking powers on the Senate and Assembly or through the people via the initiative and referendum processes.

The note on initiatives and referendums is particularly pertinent in the governor’s case. Gavin Newsom, in his executive roles, has chosen to ignore the laws on the books in pushing his judgment on policy. He did it as Mayor of San Francisco when he called for the licensing of same-sex marriages when the voters had opposed same-sex marriages with Proposition 22 in 2000. Voters supported the California death penalty with Proposition 66 in 2016 while also preventing an effort to repeal the death penalty, but that did not stop Governor Newsom who ordered a moratorium on death penalties while he is governor, and he had the death chamber at San Quentin disassembled.

Clearly, Newsom wants to pull the electorate along on a course he directs. His decree on same-sex marriage was followed by the court and voter acceptance of the same which served as an incentive to Newsom to continue the practice of pushing the envelope despite the law.

The overuse of executive orders is not an action exclusive to Governor Newsom. The past two presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, used executive orders to questionable excess.

But in a nation of laws, the rules must be followed until changed by court mandates or through legislative or popular votes. Making law by executive order is a violation of the state Constitution and the Republican form of government.

Judge Heckman signed a permanent injunction enjoining the governor from exercising power under the California Emergency Services Act “which amends, alters, or changes existing statutory law or makes new statutory law or legislative policy.”

The ongoing argument between executive and legislative branches was critical for the courts to resolve, the judge wrote in her decision.

Which means we will see this battle move on to higher courts. Based on basic principles under which American and state government were conceived, the argument that the executive cannot make law should prevail.

Joel Fox is Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily.


  1. California already has the highest cost of electricity and fuels in the country, and the highest poverty and homeless rates in America. “King” Newsom is doing everything possible to INCREASE them all.

  2. FIRST, Recall the P.O.S. SECOND Recall the Pretty Boy. Go to and get your petition, get a couple of signatures, fill out the bottom portion and mail it back. We have until next year to get rid of this POS! (You can find him on his NOT closed winery or having a meal with 11 others at the five star “French Laundry” in Yountville. The rules are for thee, not for me!)

    • Right, his rules are just suggestions he is carried away with and thinks the clear thinking people will believe. Not on you life will I follow his clap-trap disillusions of grandeur and power! This gov. is naked and thinks the people will play along with it—but we need to go along as always and make it appear we believe his lies and do as we please! jUST DO IT!

  3. Too bad that’s only a Superior Court order, that will likely be appealed and overturned by the liberal appellate courts in California. Judge Heckman will likely be vilified by the conservative hater mob running this State–I hope she has already sat for election and doesn’t need to be elected again, as she will be defeated. There are no limits to the liberal attack on any nascent conservative rulings that dare to be issued by strong and fearless judges.

  4. sign the petition and get rid of this POS!!!

  5. Been wondering how many of the lock down state governors were installed to push THE AGENDA.

  6. I find it hard to believe there is no jail time for a sitting governor to violate the state constitution, who in hell passed that no teeth law? Wait, let ,me guess.

  7. The communist democrats view the Constitution as a annoyance that needs to be ignored and scrapped.
    Their belief is that the people will obey.

  8. You can bet that this DICKtator and his crew of corrupt voter fraudster Sacramento Democraps are ucking it up in Maui not staying in their hotel rooms for 14 days of quarantine nor social distancing nor wearing masks all of the things he demands we do. He is the biggest fraud second only to President elect Dementia Joe aka sloppy Joe. Since when did pawing women, sniffing their hair and massaging their neck miss the intense scrutiny of not only the leftist fake media but his prosecutor “me too” feminist (I will say or do anything to sleep my way into the vice presidency position) Camel |Toe Harris? It could only happen to President Trump because we all know they are do as I say leftists not as I do leftists.

    This guy has to go or at least get a proposition on the ballot that makes those who voted for him and his cretins a law that says they have to stay here or go to another blue state. They should not have the liberty or freedom to go to another red state and ruin it with their crappy progressive/Newsom/Pelosi/Marxist vote. They should be forced to live in the state of their crappy vote with their stupid and yes crappy rules, taxes and controllable idiots.

  9. Another nail in the recall coffin.

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