SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — San Bernardino County has gone to the California Supreme Court over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home orders.
The Inland Empire county wants an exemption from the state’s regional guidelines that lump it together with Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego counties, in order to take local control. According to its filing, the county wants 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.”
“The governor is not permitted to act as both the executive and legislative branch for nine months under the California Emergency Services Act,” Curt Hagman, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement. “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’s filing argues that communities with fewer COVID-19 infections should have fewer restrictions. However, under the state’s previous tiered system of reopening, San Bernardino County’s rate of COVID-19 spread kept it in the most restrictive tier that did not allow any indoor dining at restaurants or worship at churches.
California’s regional stay-at-home order, which is in effect until at least Christmas, groups 11 counties from the Mexico border to nearly Lake Tahoe into the Southern California region. The order went into effect when the region’s ICU capacity reached less than 15%.
The ICU capacity in the region is currently at 1.7%.
Newsom has not commented on the filing.
Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo also went to state officials in a bid to break off into its own region.