In the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, Strident Conservative contributor Christin McMasters penned an article reminding us that voting for president matters, but how we vote locally matters much more when it comes to protecting liberty. And as we see in the battle taking place in California between members of the state legislature and Governor “dictator” Gavin Newsom, Christin’s reminder is particularly applicable in the war against coronavirus tyranny.
Fresh off the heels of a Supreme Court ruling in favor of churches fighting his executive order attacking the First Amendment and Freedom of Religion via arbitrarily shutting down indoor worship services, Newsom proceeded to issue a round of dictator-styled stay-at-home orders that went into effect at midnight Sunday in Southern California and the San Juaquin Valley, impacting some 33 million people.
Newsom’s order mandates the closure of indoor and outdoor playgrounds, bars, wineries, hair and nail salons, barber shops, theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums and cardrooms. His order requires restaurants to only offer take-out or delivery service with no indoor or outdoor dining allowed.
Nonessential travel is also prohibited, as are hotel stays for leisure. Retail stores can stay open at 20 percent of maximum occupancy.
Apparently, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is California’s dictator-in-waiting as he issued an order last week declaring that “All travel, including, without limitation, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit is prohibited.” Dictators of the world, unite!
However, members of the California state legislature aren’t taking “dictator” Newsom’s coronavirus tyranny lying down.
According to a report on TheCenterSquare.com, two California legislators have filed a brief with a state appeals court in their fight to limit Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ability to issue executive orders indefinitely.
State Reps. James Gallagher and Kevin Kiley, two northern California Republicans who won one of the first court victories against Newsom, filed a 13,986-word brief in their appeal to the court.
“This case concerns a limited point of law: whether the California Constitution countenances a dictatorship. Gavin Newsom is no Caesar, but his legal theory in this case and ruling philosophy this year are that of dictator legibus faciendis. The Executive can make laws at will, and the participation of the Legislature is at his discretion.
“Given the modern multiplication of ‘emergencies’ and their cascading effects across the landscape of California life, a mandate for executive lawmaking would confer unbridled control over the economic and social character of the state. It would be a reversion to the Roman model, destroying the separation of powers as we know it.”
FYI: The term “dictator legibus faciendis” comes from Roman Empire (81 BC) when the Senate appointed Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix dictator legibus faciendis et reipublicae constituendae causa, which translated means: “dictator for the making of laws and for the settling of the constitution.” Seems like an appropriate definition of “dictator” Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus tyranny.
If the appeals court agrees with the lawmakers, “it would be one of the biggest checks on the California governor’s executive authority in times of state emergencies,” according to Phil Wilson at the Los Angeles Times.
There has never been a nine-month statewide state of emergency implemented in the history of California. No governor in California history has issued unending, limitless executive orders, plaintiffs in numerous cases filed against the governor argue.
But the fight against Dictator Gavin Newsome isn’t limited to this court fight.
In a textbook example of what the constitutional power of the local sheriff to choose not to enforce mandates and coronavirus tyranny looks like, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes released a statement saying he will not be enforcing the new coronavirus lockdown orders because they don’t pass the “constitutional test,” and he called compliance a matter of “personal responsibility” and not something for the sheriff’s department to regulate.
Please see my statement regarding Southern California being placed under the Governor’s regional stay-at-home order. pic.twitter.com/lgvvHGnasp
— OC Sheriff Don Barnes (@OCSheriffBarnes) December 5, 2020
In a video statement, Sheriff Chad Bianco of Riverside County, California says he is also refusing to enforce “dictator” Newsom’s lockdown orders.
“While the governor’s office and the state [have] threatened action against violators, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will not be blackmailed, bullied, or used as muscle against Riverside County residents in the enforcement of the governor’s orders.
Bianco also criticized what he referred to as Newsom’s “dictatorial attitude” toward Californians — requiring police to arrest, ticket, or close the businesses of violators — and he accused Newsom of attempting to distract from his own hypocrisy and irresponsibility after getting caught dining out in violation of his own restrictions, keeping his own winery open, and sending his children to private school.
“It appears part of the new goal is to shift attention away from his and others’ personal behavior with a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude by turning public opinion against California sheriffs.”
At the end of Christin’s article, she gives us an example of why focusing on local government is more important than who occupies the White House:
“Frankly, we could elect a Marxist to the office of the president and see our daily personal lives stay the same if everyone in Congress, state, local and city government were all Constitutionalists. On the other hand, we could elect a great Constitutionalist to the presidency and still be doomed to Marxism (or worse) if Congress, state, and local governments are Marxists.”
Dictators like Newsom are exploiting coronavirus hysteria to destroy liberty in order to pave the way for a more socialistic, tyrannical government. And they will succeed unless we rise up at the state and local levels of government to take back our God-given liberty.
I’m not saying that we ignore Washington, but it’s important we realize that our best chance of success at defeating dictators like Gavin Newsom and coronavirus tyranny will now and forever remain with “we the people.”
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.