A California judge set off a game of legal ping-pong when he chastened the state’s embattled governor, Gavin Newsom, in a ruling targeting the Democrat’s latest coronavirus-related lockdown order.
After the judge ruled that all restaurants in San Diego County could open amid Newsom’s stay-at-home mandate, an appeals court moved to Friday block his injunction, the Associated Press reported.
Appeals court stays order
According to the Washington Examiner, San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil first granted relief to suffering businesses in San Diego County last week in a case brought by two strip clubs.
The judge questioned the science behind Newsom’s rules, saying that officials failed to show a connection between a scarcity of ICU beds in Southern California and people congregating at restaurants and strip clubs.
“Defendants, on the other hand, have provided the Court with no evidence that Plaintiffs providing live adult entertainment and San Diego County businesses with restaurant service … who’ve implemented protocols as directed by the County, have impacted ICU bed capacity throughout the Southern California Region,” the judge said, as the Examiner reported.
Wohlfeil also wrote that “pending the trial of this case, Defendants … and any governmental entity or law enforcement officer are hereby ENJOINED from enforcing the provisions of the cease and desist order,” which he extended to include all restaurants in the county.
While the order quickly went into effect, a three-judge panel of an appeals court Friday parried the judge’s injunction with “no explanation” after lawyers from the state intervened, and set a Wednesday deadline for the plaintiffs to respond, according to Fox News.
Newsom likely to extend lockdown
According to the Associated Press, the state’s lawyers rebuked Wohlfeil for having “unilaterally thwarted public efforts to avert that looming catastrophe, by issuing an injunction that allows all restaurants in San Diego County to reopen without any restriction, contrary to the orders and judgment of the State’s top health officials.”
Many politicians around the country have begun tightening restrictions, citing the virus spread. But patience with lockdowns has drained in much of the country, thanks in part to economic destruction wrought by the restrictions and examples of hypocrisy from public officials that have outraged many.
“Gruesome Newsom” has faced backlash as well over a night out at the high-end French Laundry restaurant, and calls to recall the governor have gained traction, Fox reports.
The governor warned Monday that he would likely seek to extend Southern California’s restrictions, set to expire on Dec. 28, as the region hit zero percent capacity in ICU beds last week.
“It’s very likely based on those current trends that we will need to extend that stay-at-home order,” he said, according to Los Angeles’ KTLA 5.