California’s mask order tests the limits of Newsom’s executive power
By: Phil Willon
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order June 18 requiring all Californians to wear face masks came as welcome news to those in the state concerned by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Nevada City Mayor Reinette Senum instead greeted the mandate with a message of defiance.
“Our governor does NOT have that unilateral power to make such orders,” Senum said in a Facebook post, joining sheriffs in Orange, Riverside, Sacramento and Fresno counties who have said they will refuse to enforce Newsom’s decree. . .
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“The Department of Public Health would appear to have sufficient authority to direct the public to wear masks in order to prevent the pandemic’s spread,” said former state appellate court Judge Daniel M. Kolkey, who served as Republican Gov. Pete Wilson’s legal affairs secretary and later as an advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. . .