California Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to order the closure of several state beaches during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has drawn scrutiny and criticism from some members of the public who say the governor is exceeding his power by overriding local authorities.
The criticism reached a peak when Newsom’s order closed several Orange County beaches earlier this month after local officials declared them open.
A Republican state official has filed several lawsuits against the governor in response to his stay-at-home directives, saying Newsom is abridging the constitutional rights of the public.
But attorney Mark Reichel says while the U.S. Supreme Court has held that American rights and freedoms are extensive, “your freedoms cannot cause harm to others.”
In this case, Reichel says the California Department of Justice intends to argue in court that Newsom’s directives is designed to prevent more public harm as the virus known as COVID-19 continues to proliferate throughout the state.
“It’s going to be very difficult for someone to sue and to prevail and say that ‘my constitutional rights are being violated,'” Reichel told FOX40 News.
As a state, California has seen some of the worst of the outbreak, but when observed at a county-by-county level, Reichel says some smaller counties that have not seen as much contagion may have a good case for reopening certain businesses on a case-by-case basis.
“They’re probably are in a decent position to make that argument,” Reichel said.