The county had hoped to upend Gov. Newsom’s stay-at-home orders.
California’s San Bernardino County has spent more than $76,000 on a single lawsuit challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest stay-at-home order.
According to The Victorville Daily Press, San Bernardino County spokesperson David Wert revealed the full cost of litigation late last week. The county’s disclosure came several days after the California Supreme Court denied a petition to rescind a state-wide lockdown.
The county also failed to secure further council votes to continue litigation against the governor’s office.
However, Wert said that San Bernardino County will continue trying to find new ways to ensure its residents remain afloat throughout the pandemic.
“The county is disappointed and weighing its options,” Wert said. “But the county will continue to use all avenues to seek fair treatment for all our communities.”
Despite the cost of the lawsuit, the Daily Press suggest that San Bernardino County officials had more or less expected their complaint to fall short in the courts.
A woman wearing an N95-style mask. Image via Pexels. Public domain.
Even in winter, County Counsel Michelle Blakemore had told the Board of Supervisors—who were then only beginning to consider litigation—that dozens of lawsuits against Newsom’s stay-at-home orders had been either dropped or dismissed. Blakemore said “the state has made it clear that they are challenging” any and all actions related to California’s handling of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the county went ahead and sued.
“This County seeks this instant writ to reclaim its police power over its residents and vast land mass, with incorporated and unincorporated areas, to enable it to tailor regulations and orders which are specific to its residents based on facts which are unique to their locations than subject residents to overbroad multi-county, Governor-implemented, regionalized lockdowns,” the lawsuit stated.
“Retaining this power to local authority rather than leaving it in the hands of the Respondents that are 400 miles away critical to combatting this pandemic,” the county said.
However, the state Supreme Court refused to consider the petition, denying it late last week.
The lawsuit is one of several unsuccessful complaints San Bernardino County has filed against Newsom; it is currently pursuing another, multi-county push against Newsom’s dining and restaurant restrictions.
In the latter lawsuit, San Bernardino claimed that Newsom has shuttered even outdoor dining facilities, despite there being relatively little evidence to suggest that outdoor dining is a significant contributor to community spread.
Supervisor Curt Hagman, who contributed to the filing, said the stay-at-home order and lack of accessible venues have driven many people to prefer gathering with friends or relatives in smaller, private residences.
It is unknown how much that lawsuit has or will cost the county’s taxpayers.
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