California Activists Fight Stay-at-Home Order to Hold Protests

(Bloomberg) -- Two California activists claim a ban on non-essential activities is infringing on their right to protest at the State Capitol Building.

Ron Givens, a gun store employee in Sacramento, and Christine Bish, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, sued Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials Monday seeking a judgment that the state’s stay-at-home order is unconstitutional.

Newsom issued the order for California in mid-March. It requires people to shelter-in-place unless they work in essential industries, such as health care or food distribution, or are engaged in essential activities, such as grocery shopping.

But, according to the lawsuit, it also prevents protesters from gathering outside the State Capitol Building, “the most important and widely used public forum in California.”

The state officials “in a gross abuse of their power, have seized the coronavirus pandemic to expand their authority by unprecedented lengths,” the activists said in the lawsuit.

Givens and Bish said they each applied for a permit to hold a protest outside the Capitol and were denied because Newsom had instructed state police not to issue permits since protests weren’t allowed under the state’s order.

Givens and Bish plan to hold protests “outside, on State Capitol grounds, in a safe and socially-distant manner, staffed by volunteers to ensure the same,” according to the lawsuit.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.