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Judge says Gov. Newsom overstepped authority during pandemic

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Posted at 9:36 AM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 13:06:24-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A judge preliminarily ordered California Gov. Gavin Newsom to stop issuing directives related to the coronavirus that might interfere with state law.

Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman tentatively ruled Monday that one of the dozens of executive orders Newsom has issued overstepped his authority. She more broadly barred him from infringing on the state Legislature.

The judge said Newsom overstepped his authority with an executive order that directed counties to send all registered California voters mail-in ballots and regulated the number of polling stations.

The lawsuit stems from an executive order that was issued before the state's Legislature passed a similar law related to mail-in ballots.

It's the second time a judge in the same county has reached the conclusion, which runs counter to other state and federal court decisions backing the governor's emergency powers.

Heckman's decision will become final in 10 days.

Newsom's administration says it disagrees and is evaluating its next steps.