Yesterday, all cities in OC– except Newport– were declared “Open for Recreation Only” after a lawsuit filed by Councilman Kevin Muldoon sought to reopen the beaches from Governor Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional order violating the 1st Amendment’s rights to peaceably assemble.
Newport– which filed the exact same petitions to reopen as the other cities, and earlier than some of them– was the only one not granted the right to reopen, a clearly spiteful attempt at vindictiveness by Newsom.
Earlier today, a judge ruled that Newsom must deliver documents about whether or not this was a “hard closure” as was originally demanded in his executive order (linked here and here), or if he was actually allowing some beach access. Less than 30 minutes later, Newsom granted partial beach access. You must be “active” on the beach, according to Newsom, now– a far cry from the “hard closure” with “zero people on the beach” he ordered previously.
Immediately after the order, Democratic Congressman Harley Rouda– who previously declared open beaches “reckless”– issued a press release (linked here), attempting to seize some of the credit for actions that had nothing to do with him.
Rouda was under heavy fire after photos leaked drinking alcohol with a fresh haircut on a private beach (linked here) after Newsom declared the beach closure– after Rouda backed the closure by calling open beaches “reckless” (linked here). To do damage control on his own image, the next day, Rouda backpedaled his position Thursday (linked here) to support beach rights– after he was caught on the beach.
We look forward to hear the Federal ruling on Muldoon’s case– hopefully Friday evening– and for the state ruling on Michael Gates’s case– likely Monday.