An Orange County judge has refused to issue an injunction against what cities call an illegal edict from Governor Gavin Newsom closing only Orange County beaches. Thousands of people lined the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach – “Surf City, USA” – for at least four hours on Friday afternoon to protest the closures.
— Yvonne Bailey #ReOpenAmerica 🇺🇸 (@realYDB) May 1, 2020
The cities of Dana Point and Huntington Beach and a group of Newport Beach residents sued to stop the governor from imposing a shutdown order, but the judge said the issue was so rushed that he’d go with the status quo, a shutdown, until a hearing on May 11th. Only the day before, the “status quo” was open beaches.
Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates told KFI Radio’s afternoon John and Ken Show that Newsom’s closure directive was not based on his coronavirus Emergency Order because that order did not include beaches. Michael Gates claimed the governor did not have a rational basis for ordering the shutdown.
— Heather2A (@Heather2Aallda1) May 2, 2020
Indeed, lawyers for Newport Beach residents working with the Harmeet Dhillon’s Center for American Liberty argued that the governor’s “order” was, “off-the-cuff, solo rule making based on misleading press reports does not meet the constitutional standards safeguarding the rights of Californians”
Dhillon said her team was disappointed the judge didn’t issue the writ, but “pleased that he ordered the government to respond in writing by Wednesday as to why the beaches should be shut in Orange County by unilateral decree of the Governor. Governor Newsom’s off-the-cuff, solo rule making based on misleading press reports does not meet the constitutional standards of strict scrutiny safeguarding the rights of Californians — the rights to assembly, travel, liberty, and access to our beaches under the California Constitution. We look forward to hearing the governor defend this indefensible order in court.”
Orange County State Senator John Morlach said the governor’s beach shutdown didn’t even jibe with Newsom’s own list of acceptable outdoor activities – yes, the governor made such a list. “Kite surfing? How do you do this if you can’t get on the beach?” Morlach asked. “This administration can’t seem to figure itself out.”
Morlach said that he asked the Office of Emergency Services when Newport Beach called and asked for help in curbing crowds at its beaches last weekend. They had no answer. “I don’t know if Governor Newsom saw a TV news story 431 miles away and he made a decision to close the beaches. It’s very petty and very suspicious.”
Without speaking to a single local official in Newport Beach, Governor Newsom has put politics over data, and substituted his will for our judgment from 428 miles away in Sacramento.
Any restriction that invokes health and safety to shut down freedom of movement needs to be grounded in data to show that such activities are direct threats to health and safety. That showing was not made today. OC’s forty-two miles of beaches can and should be safely opened.
Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis and Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles have issued a statement commenting on what they and their public safety personnel saw this past weekend in Newport Beach. Pictures taken by our Police Chief from the police helicopter are included.”
Without speaking to a single local official in Newport Beach, Governor Newsom has put politics over data, and substituted his will for our judgment from 428 miles away in Sacramento. Los Angeles County closed their beaches over a month ago and data now shows (1/3) pic.twitter.com/3uvKb6KdAL
— Mayor Will O'Neill (@ONeill4Newport) April 30, 2020
As I have reported on PJMedia recently, Newsom was likely overwhelmed by complaints about one photo, which turned out to be, for lack of a better term, fake news, and at the very least was misleading.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) April 26, 2020
By Friday afternoon, Newsom had issued a written order – not one spitballed during a news conference as he had the day before.
“State public health leadership reviewed conditions on these beaches and determined that this beach visitation created unsafe conditions. These conditions threaten the health of both beach visitors and community members who did not visit the beach, but are threatened by worsening spread of the virus, including first responders and health care providers.”
No such health data and science, which Newsom claims to use for all his COVID-19 responses, exists to support the closure of the Orange County beaches. Orange County has among the lowest coronavirus cases and the fewest deaths per capita. It has peaked and come down the other side of the curve.
— Ann McElhinney (@annmcelhinney) May 1, 2020
Orange County residents – and the rest of America – were told that we had to lose our jobs to “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm the health care system.
— Cari Funkhouser (@CariFunkhouser) May 1, 2020
Thousands of Orange County residents yesterday on the streets of Huntington Beach said they’d held up their end of the bargain. Now they want their freedom back.