President Trump and the GOP in California just dropped the hammer on Gavin Newsom’s overreach and are suing to block his executive order on mail voting. California was not happy with the news.
“Expanding vote-by-mail during a pandemic is not a partisan issue — it’s a moral imperative to protect voting rights and public safety,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
“Vote-by-mail has been used safely and effectively in red, blue, and purple states for years. This lawsuit is just another part of Trump’s political smear campaign against voting by mail. We will not let this virus be exploited for voter suppression,” he added nervously.
Republican groups are suing California Governor Gavin Newsom, claiming his recent executive order to mail every registered voter in the state a ballot ahead of the November election is an “illegal power grab” that redesigns the election system.
The lawsuit alleges Newsom’s order is “less about protecting the health of Californians and more about protecting the electoral prospects of the Governor’s political party.”
The Republican National Party, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the California Republican Party are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed Sunday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
“In a direct usurpation of the legislature’s authority, Governor Newsom issued an executive order purporting to rewrite the entire election code for the November 2020 election cycle,” read the complaint. “This brazen power grab was not authorized by state law and violates both the Elections Clause and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
The lawsuit contends that the U.S. Constitution reserves for “state legislatures the power to set the time, place and manner of holding elections for Congress and the President.” It further argues that state executive officers like Newsom “have no authority to unilaterally exercise that power.”
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Democrats are using “this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections.”
Republicans also pointed out that California has moved into Phase 2 of its reopening plan and Newsom himself said recently that Phase 3, which would allow hair salons, churches and professional sports to reopen, could happen as early as June. The GOP says Newsom did not clarify how his executive order will be “justified in light of such progress” in California.
“California will continue to defend Californians’ right to vote, including their right to vote by mail, and the right to hold an election that is safe, secure and accessible,” Newsom’s press secretary, Jesse Melgar, said in a statement. “Voters shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their right to vote.”