Judicial Watch, Darrell Issa Sue California’s Democrat Governor Over Vote by Mail
California Governor sued over mail-in executive order
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is being sued by former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Judicial Watch over his executive order allowing all voters to vote by mail in the state.
Newsom's order cites the health threat from the coronavirus.
“It is unknown to what degree COVID-19 will pose a threat to public health in November,” mail-in ballots must be sent to everyone — but in-person voting must also be provided.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against Newsom on behalf of Issa.
Also named plaintiffs in the suit are three voters, one Democrat, one Republican and one independent, which was filed federal court in Sacramento.
Among the defendants are Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
A most simple case is laid out in the lawsuit:
The U.S. Constitution provides explicitly that the state legislatures control the manner of electing members of Congress, as well as members of the Electoral College (who elect the president).
The filing states (emphasis added):
The United States Constitution sets forth the authority to regulate federal elections. With respect to congressional elections, the Constitution provides:
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
U.S. CONST. art. I, § 4 (“Elections Clause”).
16. With respect to the appointment of presidential electors, the Constitution provides:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
U.S. CONST. art. II, § 1 (“Electors Clause”).
17. Neither Defendant is a “Legislature” as required under the Elections Clause or Electors Clause.
The suit argues, California’s Voter’s Choice Act of 2016 provides county governments to control the choice about whether to engage in an all-mail system of voting.
But as the statutes can be overridden by the governor's emergency powers, he is still required to end the state of emergency as soon as possible.
Under the allegedly unlawful system, there is a risk of hurting others and candidates in congressional districts that include more than one county, were votes may be cast legally.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement:
“California law prohibits blindly mailing out ballots to every registered voter in the state."
"This scheme raises the risk of Election Day chaos as well as voter fraud.”
In 2018, Judicial Watch reached a settlement with the state and with Los Angeles County to remove 1.5 million inactive voters from the tolls.