Governor Gavin Newsom said the state would implement laws to shield from federal courts and protect people's lives.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that he will use the legal tactics of the Texas six-week abortion ban to implement gun control in his state. Newsom's announcement comes on the back of the Supreme Court's Friday ruling allowing Texas' abortion law to stand. The governor was outraged at the decision but decided to use a similar loophole to tackle gun control in California. "I am outraged by yesterday's US Supreme Court decision allowing Texas's ban on most abortion services to remain in place, and largely endorsing Texas's scheme to insulate its law from the fundamental protections of Roe v. Wade," said Newsom in a statement, reported CNN.
As per the Supreme Court ruling, the Texas ban stands but mentions that abortion providers have the right to challenge the law in federal court. The ruling, however, limits which state officials can be sued by the abortion providers, which makes it difficult to provide abortions past the sixth week of pregnancy without the fear of being sued. The fear of being sued is also serving as a deterrent to stop people from seeking abortions.
Republicans asked for it. Now they got it.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) December 12, 2021
Newsom said he would bring in similar state laws to stop gun control. "If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army knives, then California will use that authority to protect people's lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm's way," read the statement. The Texas abortion law encourages vigilantism but allowing private citizens anywhere in the country to sue anyone who assists a pregnant person seeking abortion, which can include an abortion clinic or even someone who drives the patient to the clinic. The ambiguity of the ruling after limiting select state officials from enforcing the ban means the abortion clinics continue to remain in fear of being sued.
Using a similar tactic, Newsom said that he has told his staff to draw up a bill that will allow private citizens to seek injunctive relief "against anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California." The governor added that the bill would also provide for statutory damages of at least $10,000 in addition to attorney's fees. "If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that," said Newsom, potentially opening pathways for other states to use similar tactics to enforce gun control until the Supreme Court makes a final ruling with regards to Roe Vs. Wade.
Gavin Newsom has decided to do the "two can play at that game" by calling for the same tactics Texas is using for abortion on GUNS, AND I AM HERE FOR IT. 👏👏👏— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 12, 2021
Last week, abortion advocates were critical of the Supreme Court's decision, arguing that it would hinder the clinics' ability to continue to fight the ban. "While the Court did not put a complete end to our legal challenge, its failure to stop Texas's deliberate nullification of the constitutional right to abortion within its borders makes the Court complicit in widespread chaos and harm to Texans, and responsible for giving the green light for other states to circumvent the constitution through copycat laws," said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement, reported CNN.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor came down heavily on the ruling stating that it was now encouraging other states to follow suit. "The Court should have put an end to this madness months ago, before S. B. 8 first went into effect," she said. Sotomayor argued that states would use this law to bypass federal rights. "The Court thus betrays not only the citizens of Texas, but also our constitutional system of government," said Sotomayor.