California Restaurants to Sue Governor Over Lockdown Order

California governor Gavin Newsom / Getty Images
December 7, 2020

More than a dozen California restaurants are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) over his coronavirus lockdown order, arguing they can’t be forced to close without compensation.

Nineteen restaurants that collectively employ more than 400 workers will be filing the suit, according to the southern California local news network KGET.

The three-week-long order that took effect Sunday night requires restaurants to serve only takeout or delivery, while many types of businesses are forced to close completely, based on their region's availability of intensive care units. The order, which is placed on most parts of the state, also prohibits private gatherings with people from outside one's household and bans "nonessential travel."

Newsom has faced a string of lawsuits throughout the year over increased restrictions that have forced businesses to close and prohibited churches from gathering. Two California counties over the weekend said they will refuse to enforce the governor's lockdown orders.

"To put the onus on law enforcement to enforce these orders against law-abiding citizens who are already struggling through difficult circumstances, while at the same time criticizing law enforcement and taking away tools to do our jobs, is both contradictory and disingenuous," Orange County sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement.

The announcements from the sheriffs of Riverside County and Orange County come two weeks after several county sheriffs told Newsom they would not enforce his curfew order. Many of Newsom's critics have pointed to the governor's failure to follow his own rules after he dined indoors and maskless at the posh French Laundry restaurant during a lobbyist's birthday party where social distancing rules went unheeded.