Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom is now being sued along with Attorney General Xavier Becerra and public health officer Dr. Erica Pan by five businesses over the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home orders and for being shut down. Attorneys for Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill, Luxury Nail Lounge, Pomp Salon, Bella & Harmony, and Coachella Valley Hospitality Unites are charging that the restrictions violated their constitutional rights.
The owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill, Angela Marsden, recently appeared in a viral video where she claimed Mayor Eric Garcetti shut down her restaurant’s outdoor patio while allowing a Hollywood film crew to set up an outdoor dining area across the street. She just joined the lawsuit against Newsom.
“There is no science nor data that justifies the blanket closure of all outdoor dining and beauty services,” Harmeet K. Dhillon, managing partner of the Dhillon Law Group, Inc., said in a Friday statement. “While California continues to experience the most restrictive shelter-in-place orders in the country, the highest positive test rate and most deaths, Governor Newsom’s orders are devastating small businesses while not saving lives.”
The lawsuit purports that Newsom, Becerra, and Pan have deprived small businesses of “fundamental rights protected by the U.S. and California Constitutions, including freedom of assembly and due process and equal protection under the law.”
(Source: Fox News)
The aggrieved plaintiffs also posited that the defendants abused their power by seizing the coronavirus pandemic “to expand their authority by unprecedented lengths.”
The attorneys for the businesses are citing a peer-reviewed study that was published Jan. 5 in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, examining data from the U.S., England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, and Sweden. It found that mandatory stay-at-home orders and business closures did not have “significant benefits” and “reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.”
“Cutting hair and al fresco dining are criminal acts in only one state in the United States because Governor Newsom has decided to make these industries sacrificial lambs,” Fred Jones, general counsel for the Professional Beauty Federation of California, said in a statement.
“This is not brain surgery, we have been misled by the health officials. They don’t know what they are doing, it’s been demonstrated again and again. They are the ones causing the deaths by forcing people indoors,” said attorney and restaurant owner Mark Geragos.
This isn’t Newsom’s only legal headache. He is also being sued by a group of 50 restaurants and wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties. They contend that they were unfairly targeted without scientific evidence while other indoor businesses such as retailers were allowed to continue operating “with little regulation.”
Bar owner in Los Angeles CA is livid to see that mayor Garcetti has approved an outdoor dining area for a movie company directly across from her outdoor dining area (which was shut down) pic.twitter.com/jkUP2CWg35
— Jake Coco 💙🇺🇸🎶🐻 (@jakecoco) December 4, 2020
Newsom has claimed from the beginning of the pandemic that his decisions are based on data that will be shared with the public to provide maximum transparency. Many in the state charge it has been anything but transparent.
As the state emerges from its worst surge in cases, his administration won’t disclose key information that would help determine when his latest stay-at-home order would be lifted. This has infuriated many Californian businesses that are barely holding on. State health officials seem to be saying that the data would only confuse and mislead the public if they release it.
California has seen some of the strictest COVID-19 rules in the country since March. Most students in the state are still attending classes remotely at home.
As cases allegedly surged after Thanksgiving, Newsom created five regions and established a single measurement — ICU capacity. It was the determining factor for whether a region was placed under a stay-at-home order. Almost immediately, four regions, which covers about 98% of the state’s population, were under the restrictions after their capacity fell below the 15% threshold.
At the start of last week, no regions appeared likely to have the stay-at-home order lifted soon because their capacity was well below 15%. But within a day, the state announced it was lifting the order for the 13-county greater Sacramento area. That just so happened to coincide with the inauguration of Joe Biden as president.
Suddenly, outdoor dining and worship services in that region were permitted again. Hair and nail salons and other businesses could also reopen, and retailers were allowed more shoppers inside. People started whispering about blatant political motivation on Newsom’s part. Something similar also happened in Chicago and New York.
State officials did not justify their reasoning, other than to say it was based on a projection for ICU capacity.
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