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County petitions Supreme Court for local control of COVID-19 measures

San Bernardino County has filed an action directly in the California Supreme Court asking the court to find that the governor’s stay-at-home orders exceed the authority found in the California Emergency Services Act. The county seeks to exercise local control in response to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than be restrained by the state’s regional approach that treats San Bernardino County the same as significantly different counties such as Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego.

“The governor is not permitted to act as both the executive and legislative branch for nine months under the California Emergency Services Act,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “If it is concluded that the act allows him to do so, the act is unconstitutional as it permits the delegation of the Legislature’s powers to the executive branch in violation of the California Constitution.”

San Bernardino County has worked tirelessly on behalf of county residents and businesses urging the state to recognize that the county’s size and geographic diversity should allow for fewer restrictions in communities with lower COVID-19 metrics than the county as a whole.

“The governor declared that the state’s approach would be based on science and data, but the state has not produced science or data that suggest the restrictions he has imposed would address the current trajectory of the pandemic in San Bernardino County,” said former Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who joined the county in the Supreme Court filing as a private citizen.

The filing states the county seeks to reclaim its constitutional authority “to tailor regulations and orders which are specific to its residents based on facts which are unique to their locations rather than subject its residents to overbroad multi-county, Governor-implemented, regionalized lockdowns.”

22 thoughts on "County petitions Supreme Court for local control of COVID-19 measures"

  1. Melinda Apodaca says:

    Take local control? Based on the Covid data that you post, SB County appears that they have never had control of the virus in the County.

    1. Theresa says:

      Absolutely correct, Melinda!

    2. Joe Tosha says:

      Agreed. This county’s Covid infections are out of control. Suing the governor won’t help, but will have the opposite effect. Priority should be on enforcement instead. We have definitely had a lack of enforcement and that’s why the virus continues to rage.

  2. Janus Huerta says:

    Shameful behavior on part of the board, as usual, short on their own data and loud with the what now passes for the usual dogwhistling rhetoric.

    1. Theresa says:

      Agreed!

  3. John G. Wurm says:

    Great lawsuit!!

    1. Deanna says:

      I agree. It is for the state to supply the science/facts for the the shut down they have imposed. We can’t have the constitution so easily thrown out with the bath water.

  4. Theresa says:

    I’m both appalled and embarrassed that this county’s representation would continue to put our residents at risk by seeking legal remedy to scale back on needed restrictions. Your claim that the restrictions’ efficacy have no basis in science is false. Places where restrictions were followed early on absolutely appreciated downward trends in spread, illness, hospitalization and death rates. It wasn’t until restrictions were lifted prematurely that we saw massive spikes across the globe. Had the residents and leadership if SB County taken simple, though “uncomfortable,” measures when we learned how covid spread, the dire need for current restrictions would be unnecessary. Too many of our families are suffering and dying. Illness and death is exponentially on the rise. Science and hindsight should demand that we do things differently. Now more than ever we need to collectively do the right thing by our communities and families.
    Get the federal aid to help small businesses and families. California pays WAY too much to the Fed to not be given the relief we desperately need now. This is not a politial problem. This is a pandemic problem.
    San Bernardino County leadership and residents, please, I’m begging, stop being a “super spreader” community. Grow up and stay home, and wear a mask when you need to go out. Support local businesses remotely when you can. Together we can get to the other side of this with more of us ALIVE.

    1. RP says:

      I agree completely, very well said! “Appalled and embarrassed” sums up my reaction as well.

  5. Debbie Troxel says:

    I want to thank San Bernardino for having the common sense to fight this lockdown. Many of our restaurants are hanging on by a string and many other businesses are going down for the count. There is no scientific or mathematical proof to close down some businesses and keep others open. We now have the vaccine and many are already immune. Many are suffering from depression(especially teens).
    I am very proud I live in San Bernardino County!
    Thank you!

  6. Theresa says:

    Thank you! Sometimes it feels like I’m screaming into an echo chamber… I had to retire early because people I worked with took covid waaay too flippantly. I have asthma and other hereditary lung issues. Worked there for 23 years, and it wasn’t my plan to retire so soon. But I had no choice because of others’ irrational response to a pandemic: It’s not that dangerous.
    There are now 9 confirmed covid cases among my work family, some of whom laughed off the need to wear effective masks. 🙁

  7. Liza Espada says:

    Thank you for standing up for the rights of the countie’s citizens. These restrictions should be based on factual data that has been collected and studied specifically in our demographic area. There should be no guilt or shame associated with wanting this clear information to help make decisions that impact the lives of the people that you are appointed to help and work for.

  8. Ryan says:

    I support the constitution over any tyranny. It’s the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/constitution.

  9. Susan Carl says:

    Embarrassing and foolish. It’s the attitude of the BOS, zero enforcement and their cowering to nut jobs that has put us in the spot we are in. Stupid move.

  10. Kathy Mocharnuk says:

    I am so sad that our county supervisors do not care about our people and our hospitals – the total disregard for facts or lives is embarrassing. I will absolutely remember this when it’s time to vote again.

  11. AD says:

    Thank you SB Country for standing up for us. Looking at sbcovid19.com website dashboard, our testing rate is 90% negative and 10% positive even after Thanksgiving. Death rates have been dropping since July and new cases are on the decline this past week. Small businesses spent a lot of money to meet the Covid safety protocols before opening up. If big retailers can stay open so should small businesses, the chances of getting the virus at a big retailer is much higher than being at small business that is at 20% capacity or eating outdoors.

    1. Janus Huerta says:

      We have a 15% positivity rate, meaning not nearly enough testing, and the board pretends they’re defending rural and low income residents of the county—those most likely to have pre-existing conditions and with less access to quality health and emergency care—by abandoning a simple public health message and forcing vulnerable people in low wage service and manufacturing jobs to go back to work.

      This is unconscionable, an abdication of their basic responsibilities to serve everyone (not just businesses who are hostile to unemployment insurance and who want to shirk off responsibility for keeping their workplaces safe and landlords and people with extra property they want to charge exorbitant short term rent for), and a performative exercise in grandstanding. It’s a waste of our money. It’s cruel and cynical. They cried foul about the tyranny of Sacramento and then did nothing when control and funds were put into their hands. Podcasts for Small Business Owners is much more fun, less hard work, plus you can do it at home and then pretend Job Creator is a thing. Unlike working people who create the wealth those business owners/donors enjoy, with no other option but to venture outside and then have to worry about spreading disease to their patients, their parents, and their children.

  12. Jon McLinn says:

    Is it possible testing methods changed and the reason for increasing Covid numbers? July 31, 2020 San Bernardino County announced Fulgent Genetics would be the supplier of PCR tests used in Covid testing. September 28, 2020 Fulgent Genetics started using the Multiplex Covid/Influenza Assay PCR test. October 30, 2020 Covid positive test results started increasing. November 11, 2020 Covid hospitalizations started increasing. This scenario is similar throughout California and across the United States. Currently, local, state, and national influenza cases are well below average. Covid numbers started increasing before Halloween and Thanksgiving, I don’t believe people are doing anything different. I think we should evaluate the process before we blame our neighbors.

  13. Doug says:

    You need Science and Data? It is a PANDEMIC and lots of folks are dying and the hospitals are maxed out.

  14. Carlos J says:

    We should start a recall effort of all of the supervisors that voted for this. They have not taken enough steps to protect us from the medical emergency threat of covid 19.

  15. Luis ferrer says:

    Is so sad how our state of california is getting hit hard whit the co vid .and they are seeing it and don’t want to close the state.it sad how the nurse and doctor are doing everything they can .but is to much for them. I lost 3 love ones to covid.my grampa my grama and my brother which i live whit them sends i was one year old .and i lost them to this co vid 19 virus.i also lost 10 close friends in less then 2 months .but like i say it hard. God help us. And protect us. Amen

  16. Dora says:

    Need to start something our county is doing nothing to help prevent covid 19 from spreading and killing our loved ones

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