How Laphonza Butler Could Reshape California’s U.S. Senate race

Laphonza Butler — Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pick to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein — will be sworn in today, making history as the first openly LGBTQ person and the second Black woman to represent California in the Senate.

But how long does she want to keep the job?

She isn’t saying, yet.

“This week Laphonza is focused on respecting and honoring Sen. Feinstein’s legacy and getting ready to serve the people of California in the Senate,” Butler spokesperson Matt Wing told CalMatters Monday. “Politics can wait.”

Her decision whether to run for the seat, however, will be central to California politics heading into 2024. She would join a crowded field of Democratic candidates already vying for a full six-year term in the Senate — U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee.

Now, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed Monday, there will be two sets of elections in both the March 5 primary and Nov. 5 general election — a special election to determine who serves the final two months of Feinstein’s term and the regular election to decide who gets the full six-year term after that. Voters faced a similar double election last year for the state’s other Senate seat, held by Alex Padilla, also appointed by Newsom. 

A poll released Monday, but conducted Sunday before Butler’s appointment was announced, suggests that California voters generally favor appointing a Black woman to Feinstein’s seat, said Christian Grose, professor of political science and public policy at the University of Southern California. Butler ranked third among nine potential appointees in the survey, and drew more support when respondents were told more about her.

And the large share of undecided voters — roughly a third, according to his poll — could be a way in for Butler, but she must “expand her name recognition” among voters if she decides to run in 2024, he said. 

For Lee, Porter and Schiff, it could be an advantage to also run in the special election. If they win, they get seated sooner and accrue seniority, which would give them an edge over other senators newly elected in 2024, Grose said. 

Plus, running in both elections would allow them to double their campaign contribution limits. “Adam Schiff has raised a lot of money. He can now go back to all the same donors he maxed out and raise more money,” Grose said. Schiff’s campaign reported Monday he brought in another $6 million in the third quarter and had $32 million in cash on hand.

Lee spokesperson David Graham-Caso confirmed Monday she intends to run in the special election, and Butler’s appointment changed nothing for the campaign. In a statement, Lee said she is looking forward to working with Butler and wishes her well.

“I am singularly focused on winning my campaign for Senate,” Lee said in the statement. 

Porter’s campaign spokesperson Lindsay Reilly on Monday did not say whether Porter will run in the special election, but praised Butler for “standing up for women and working families” during her career. 

Schiff’s spokesperson did not return a CalMatters inquiry for comment Monday.

A fourth Democrat in the race could divide the party’s vote further and allow a Republican to sneak into the top two. In a Public Policy Institute of California poll released last week, Schiff at 20% and Porter at 15% were well ahead. Lee was at 8% among likely voters and Republicans James Bradley and Eric Early were at 5% each. In the survey, 47% named other candidates or didn’t know.

But Grose said that without a prominent Republican candidate in the race so far, polling suggests it is most likely that two Democrats will advance to the general election. That, he said, is “healthy” for the state, because a competitive race between Democrats will allow independents and Republican voters to have “more of a voice.”

“The state is so lopsidedly Democratic that it just doesn’t matter if a Republican advances to the general election,” he said. 

Butler could wait as late as Dec. 8 to decide, but is certain to face pressure to announce her plans well before then.

For now, she has the enthusiastic support of the governor, who has not endorsed any of the other Democrats running and who did not make it a precondition of the appointment for her not to run.  

“We didn’t have that conversation. I said, ‘This is up to you.’ That was the end of that conversation,” Newsom said during a Monday press conference. 

The governor, who picked Butler over the weekend, said while multiple people expressed interest in the appointment, Butler was “the only choice.” He deemed her “next-level qualified.”

Butler, who is both Black and lesbian, is “uniquely positioned” to take on the “cultural purge” by Republicans in America, Newsom said, arguing that the GOP is launching an “assault” on the LGBTQ and Black communities.

“I just think that Laphonza Butler is … simply the best person that I could find for this moment in this job.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black senator to represent California and the most recently elected Black woman to the Senate, will administer the oath of office to Butler at the U.S. Capitol today, one day before Feinstein lies in state at San Francisco City Hall.

Butler, 44, president of pro-abortion rights organization EMILYs List and longtime labor advocate and Democratic strategist, has the support of most unions, including the Service Employees International Union Local 2015 that she led. 

The 310,000-member California Teachers Association also celebrated her appointment Monday. “She’s a true change-maker and a strong champion of labor unions and public schools,” David B. Goldberg, president of the union, said in a statement.

The governor’s office compiled a long list of praise by leaders of various Black, LGBTQ and other groups. And Newsom dismissed criticism from Republicans that she doesn’t live in California at the moment, noting she re-registered to vote in California.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

Incoming California Sen. Laphonza Butler’s address shows her living in Maryland

The appointment of Laphonza Butler to become California‘s newest senator is already raising some eyebrows as she appears to be registered to vote in Maryland with an address in that state.

Registration records indicate that Butler lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her mailing address the same as her residential. She registered as a Democrat as of Sept. 12, 2022.

Butler is the president of EMILY’s List, the self-described “nation’s largest resource dedicated to electing Democratic pro-choice women to office,” and a longtime leader in California before her move to Maryland.

On Sunday night, the newest California senator’s biography on the EMILY’s List website listed that “Laphonza grew up in Magnolia, MS, and attended one of the country’s premier HBCUs, Jackson State University. She lives in Maryland with her partner Neneki Lee and their daughter Nylah.”

As of 7 a.m. Monday, the organization has removed the line that she lives in Maryland.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) appointed Butler on Sunday night. She will succeed the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who died at 90 on Friday. Newsom had long promised that the next senator he appointed would be a black woman. In appointing Butler, he passed over Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and other black lawmakers or leaders in the Golden State.

Click here to read the full article in the Washington Examiner

California Governor Rejects Bill to Give Unemployment Checks to Striking Workers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California won’t be giving unemployment checks to workers on strike, with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoing a bill Saturday that had been inspired by high-profile work stoppages in Hollywood and the hotel industry.

Newsom, a Democrat, says he supports workers and often benefits from campaign contributions from labor unions. But he said he vetoed this bill because the fund the state uses to pay unemployment benefits will be nearly $20 billion in debt by the end of the year.

“Now is not the time to increase costs or incur this sizable debt,” Newsom wrote in a veto message.

The fund the state uses to pay unemployment benefits is already more than $18 billion in debt. That’s because the fund ran out of money and had to borrow from the federal government during the pandemic, when Newsom ordered most businesses to close and caused a massive spike in unemployment. The fund was also beset by massive amounts of fraud that cost the state billions of dollars.

The bill would have let workers who were on strike for at least two weeks receive unemployment checks from the state, which can be as much as $450 per week. Normally, only workers who lost their job through no fault of their own are eligible for those benefits.

Labor unions had argued that the amount of workers on strike for more than two weeks is so small it would not have had a significant impact on the state’s unemployment trust fund. Of the 56 strikes in California over the past decade, only two lasted longer than two weeks, according to Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino, the author of the bill.

“This veto tips the scales further in favor of corporations and CEOs and punishes workers who exercise their fundamental right to strike,” said Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation. “At a time when public support of unions and strikes are at an all-time high, this veto is out-of-step with American values.”

The legislation was an attempt by Democratic state lawmakers to support Southern California hotel workers and Hollywood actors and writers who have been on strike for much of this year. The writers strike ended Sept. 26, but the other two are ongoing — meaning many workers have gone months without pay.

Beyond the debt, the Newsom administration has said the fund is not collecting enough money to pay all of the benefits owed. The money comes from a tax businesses must pay on each worker. But that tax only applies to the first $7,000 of workers’ wages, a figure that has not changed since 1984 and is the lowest amount allowed under federal law.

Meanwhile, unemployment benefits have increased. The Newsom administration has predicted benefit payments will exceed tax collections by $1.1 billion this year. It’s the first time this has happened during a period of job growth, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Click here to read the full article in AP News

How Much Do Progressives Hate Taxpayers and Proposition 13?

Last week’s column was entitled, “Legislative session ends with declaration of war on taxpayers.” The war has now gone nuclear. Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature just filed a lawsuit, directly in the California Supreme Court, seeking to have the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act removed from the November 2024 ballot before voters get a chance to approve it.

The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act (TPA) was written to restore key provisions of a series of voter-approved ballot measures that gave taxpayers, not politicians, more say over when and how new tax revenue is raised. Over the past decade, the California courts have created massive loopholes and confusion in long-established tax law and policy. TPA closes those loopholes and provides new safeguards to increase accountability and transparency over how politicians spend our tax dollars.

After more than a million Californians signed petitions to successfully put TPA on the November 2024 ballot, government officials started talking about this popular taxpayer-protection measure as if it was going to end Western Civilization.

First, the League of California Cities, which never met a tax that it didn’t like, disseminated a “Special Release” claiming TPA somehow restricts the right to vote on tax measures. This was absurd as the whole point of Proposition 13, Proposition 218, and now TPA, was to guarantee the right to vote on taxes.

Proposition 13 requires that a local special tax (meaning for a specific purpose) must receive a two-thirds vote of the electorate in order to pass. In 2017, this clear requirement was weakened by ambiguity in the California Supreme Court’s infamous Upland decision, which has been interpreted to allow special taxes to pass with only 50% plus one vote if the tax was put on the ballot by a “citizens’ initiative.” This has enabled special interests to write their own tax increases, direct the money to themselves, and get these self-serving measures passed with only a simple majority vote. TPA restores the two-thirds vote requirement and closes this costly loophole.

The second attack against the Taxpayer Protection Act was launched by the California Legislature with a late-session gut-and-amend that became Assembly Constitutional Amendment 13. This measure was a cynical attempt to derail TPA by changing the rules for passing certain kinds of constitutional amendments — specifically, initiatives that protect taxpayers by requiring a two-thirds vote to raise taxes.

If ACA 13 is enacted, TPA itself would require a two-thirds vote of the statewide electorate to pass, instead of a simple majority. It would be the first and only constitutional amendment in the history of the state that would be required to reach two-thirds voter approval. Supporters of ACA 13 insist it’s unfair for an amendment (like Prop. 13, for example) to pass with a simple majority if it imposes a higher threshold for passing something else. This argument is at odds with history. In 1879 the Legislature wrote a constitution that required a two-thirds vote to approve bonded indebtedness, then approved the constitution by a simple majority vote. That has always been the law in California.

Perhaps ACA 13, which would have to go on the ballot for voter approval, wasn’t looking like a winning strategy for the tax-and-spend crowd, because on Tuesday, the governor and the Legislature filed their lawsuit to try to knock TPA off the ballot before the election.

This outrageous attempt to block voter approval of TPA may backfire. Now voters will hear even more about the measure’s key provisions, such as requiring all new state taxes passed by the Legislature to go on the ballot for voter approval. Voters will be happy to hear that TPA restores the two-thirds vote threshold for local special taxes, and that it clears up muddy definitions that allow taxes to be mislabeled as “fees.” Voters will also like TPA’s transparency requirement that ballot labels must not only state clearly that a tax increase is a tax increase, but also disclose how the money will be spent.

By filing a “pre-election challenge” to TPA, big spending politicians have revealed themselves as being panicked that it will pass. Polling – both private and public – shows that Californians have about had it with higher taxes, especially when those higher taxes are not accompanied by more or improved levels of public services.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Gov. Newsom Signs New Law Raising Fast Food Minimum Wage To $20

‘We’re seeing more and more of these automated kiosks pop up, and this is why’

A bill to raise the fast food minimum wage to $20 an hour in California was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday, with the new wage change to take effect in January 2024.

Assembly Bill 1228, authored by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), became one of the most contentious bills this session during the summer, with only a compromise between the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and fast food companies managing to keep the bill alive earlier this month.

Originally, the bill had planned to raise the minimum up to $22 an hour and hold franchise corporations accountable for labor law violations at individual locations. In addition, thanks to a new Fast Food Council created from a new law signed last year (AB 257), benefits like paid leave and predictive scheduling would be introduced. Faced with drastically increased costs, fast food companies took action. The number of electronic kiosks instead of cashiers swiftly climbed across the state, with a ballot referendum that would overturn AB 257, as well as put the law on hold until at least November 2024, getting enough signatures earlier this year.

With both sides ready to take even more drastic action, and the end of the legislative session looming, lawmakers brought together unions and fast food companies to work a compromise. Earlier this month, it was agreed the AB 1228 would be altered to have minimum wages for fast food workers going up to $20 an hour rather than $22 starting in April 2024, with local governments prohibited from raising them even further. The raise would only apply to chains with 60 or more nationwide locations and would not apply to chains that also operate an on-site bakery, such as Panera Bread.

The Fast Food Council, meanwhile, would be able to raise the minimum wage each year through 2029, but would no longer have the power to set workplace standards, only recommendations. They would also be prohibited from implementing paid leave, vacation, predictive scheduling, and other standards wanted by the SEIU and other unions.  Also under the agreement, Franchise corporations would no longer be held for labor law violations at individual locations.

With a compromise reached, AB 1228 passed both the Assembly and Senate on September 14th, albeit with divisive votes of 53-17 and 32-8 respectively. This led the way for Governor Newsom to sign the bill into law on Thursday.

“California is home to more than 500,000 fast-food workers who – for decades – have been fighting for higher wages and better working conditions,” said Newsom at the signing on Thursday. “Today, we take one step closer to fairer wages, safer and healthier working conditions, and better training by giving hardworking fast-food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table.”

AB 1228 signed into law

Assemblyman Holden added, “Today, we witnessed the signing of one of the most impactful fast food wage laws that this country has ever seen. We did not just raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour for fast food workers. We helped a father or mother feed their children, we helped a student put gas in their car, and helped a grandparent get their grandchild a birthday gift. Last month, when we were knee deep in negotiations, hundreds of workers slept in their cars and missed pay days to come give their testimony in committee and defend their livelihood. Sacrifice, dedication, and the power of a government who serves its people is what got us to this moment. My goal for AB 1228 was to bring relief and solutions where they were needed and together with my colleagues and Governor Newsom, that is what we have done. Thank you to the SEIU and all who supported this important effort. We, as a state, should be proud.”

Despite some praise for the bill, others responded to the bill in a more negative light on Thursday. Many pointed out that the higher wages would only further push companies to hire less people overall and could lead to the pull out of several locations because of the higher costs.

“The worst parts were thankfully taken out of the bill,” explained fast food restaurant consultant Linda Medina. “The liability part was a no-go and what they wanted to put on these locations was harsh. They forget that these aren’t these big corporations running them directly. They are franchises, and the risks can be similar to running a stand alone restaurant. Pushing higher wages on them is pretty bad.”

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

California Governor Signs Law Barring Schoolbook Bans Based on Racial, Gender Teachings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday to ban school boards from rejecting textbooks based on their teachings about the contributions of people from different racial backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities.

Newsom called the measure “long overdue.”

“From Temecula to Tallahassee, fringe ideologues across the country are attempting to whitewash history and ban books from schools,” Newsom said in a statement. “With this new law, we’re cementing California’s role as the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them.”

The bill takes effect immediately.

The topic of banning and censoring books has become a U.S. political flashpoint, cropping up in statesaround the country. Many of the new restrictions enacted by conservative-dominated school boards have been over textbook representations of sexuality and LGBTQ+ history.

The California bill garnered heightened attention when a Southern California school board this summer rejected a social studies curriculum for elementary students that had supplementary material teaching about Harvey Milk, who was a San Francisco politician and gay rights advocate.

A 2011 state law requires schools to teach students about the historical contributions of gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Newsom threatened the school board with a $1.5 million fine and the board later voted to approve a modified curriculum for elementary students that met state requirements.

The new legislation bars school boards from banning instructional materials or library books because they provide “ inclusive and diverse perspectives in compliance with state law,” according to a press release from Newsom’s office.

The bill cleared the state Legislature after intense debates about what role the state should have in curricula approved by local districts and how lawmakers can make sure students are exposed to diverse and accurate portrayals of history.

Newsom also signed a bill Monday to increase penalties for child traffickers.

Democrats in the Assembly Public Safety Committee blocked the proposal earlier this year. Some lawmakers initially opposed it because they were concerned it could inadvertently punish victims of child trafficking.

Click here to read the full article in AP News

Proposal Would Turn Marina Del Rey Freeway Into Park With Low-Cost Housing- What a Lousy Idea

A new study is looking into converting one Los Angeles County freeway into a park with low-cost housing. And the plan already has the backing of some LA officials, like Mayor Karen Bass.

The Marina Central Park study is a potential plan which would convert the 90 Freeway that stretches from Marina del Rey to Culver City, and turn the stretch into a park.

“It’s the shortest freeway in LA County, it’s the least-trafficked freeway in LA County,” said Michael Schneider with Streets for All, which is responsible for the initiative. “We have a housing crisis. We don’t have enough places for people to live. We don’t have enough parks. And so it’s a study at this point to see, could we use the space a little bit better?”

The plan proposes converting the three-mile stretch into one of the biggest parks in LA County, with nearly 4,000 units of low-cost housing, retail spaces, rapid bus and bike paths, and access to the Centinela Creek, the Ballona Creek trail, and the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.

In August 2023, LA Mayor Karen Bass wrote a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, requesting $2 million for a feasibility study for the proposal.

“Tearing down the Marina Freeway, which sits on 100 acres of right-of-way with 50 acres of concrete and steel, represents an opportunity to address past harms, build housing, and create community space for all Angelenos,” she wrote. The full letter can be found here.

And the proposal would not completely eliminate car lanes along the three-mile stretch, just fewer than what currently occupy the space now.

SUGGESTED: Home prices will rise in 2023 as affordability crisis worsens, Goldman says

The people FOX 11 spoke to about the proposal were divided. Many people expressed skepticism about the plan. One person called it a “terrible” idea. Another said, “there’s already a lot of traffic going up Lincoln (Boulevard). That is going to make it worse.”

Others though, said the project would fill a need.

“I think we need affordable housing for low income people, one person said. “We have a huge problem in LA.”

Click here to read the full article at FoxNews LA

Gavin Newsom signs California LGBTQ laws after angering advocates with transgender bill veto

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during the weekend seemed to strategically sign a package of pro-LGBTQ legislation a day after outraging advocates and lawmakers from that community.

Newsom on Friday vetoed Assembly Bill 957 from Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, D-Suisun City, which would have directed judges to consider parents’ acceptance of children’s gender identities in custody disputes.

The governor explained his decision with concern about lawmakers creating legal standards “in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic.”

“Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities,” Newsom wrote.

But LGBTQ lawmakers were upset by the decision, with Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, calling it “a tragedy for trans kids here and around the country.”

The California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus said in a statement the veto was a “missed opportunity to remind the nation that California is a safe haven for transgender and nonbinary children.”

Newsom on Saturday night then signed a package of bills focused on supporting the LGTBQ community. The governor said in a statement he is “committed to the ongoing work to create safer, more inclusive spaces for all Californians.”

“These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities,” Newsom said.

The following bills were part of the package the governor signed on Saturday:

  • Assembly Bill 5, which sets deadlines for school teachers and staff to undergo LGBTQ cultural competency training.
  • Assembly Bill 223, which makes minors’ court petitions to change their sex and gender identifiers confidential.
  • Senate Bill 760, which requires public schools to have at least one all-gender restroom.
  • Senate Bill 857, which requires the state to convene a task force to identify the needs of LGBTQ students and implement supportive policies.

Newsom isn’t shy in sharing what he thinks of federal Judge Roger Benitez, the Southern California-based President George W. Bush appointee known for his fiery legal opinions in favor of the Second Amendment.

The governor has called Benitez “a stone cold ideologue” who is “a wholly owned subsidiary of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association.” So when Benitez ruled Friday — for the second time — that California’s ban on ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds is unconstitutional, Newsom was quick to issue a statement noting the timing of the decision.

“Unsurprisingly, Judge Benitez chose to issue this radical decision on the same day President Biden announced his new Office of Gun Violence Prevention. As a reminder, this is the same judge who used Gun Violence Awareness Day to strike down California’s assault weapons ban — comparing the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife,” Newsom said in the statement. “Judge Benitez is not even pretending anymore.

This is politics, pure and simple.” Newsom then pivoted toward advocating for his proposed amendment to enshrine gun control measures in the U.S. Constitution.

“It doesn’t matter what laws we pass. It doesn’t matter what the voters decide. Concealed carry. Banning weapons of war. Reasonable waiting periods. Background checks. The ideologues are coming for all of them,” Newsom said.


“Clarence Thomas should have resigned the moment Anita Hill testified. That was true then, and it’s true now. He has proven — over and over again — that he is unfit to serve on our highest court. Thomas must step down. And Congress must institute a code of ethics for SCOTUS. Now.” — Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, discussing ProPublica’s revelation that Justice Clarence Thomas secretly participated in Koch network donor events, via Threads.

Best of The Bee:

A federal judge with a penchant for fiery rulings and strong leanings toward the Second Amendment issued an injunction Friday on California’s ban on ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds, the latest ruling in the now 6-year-old legal challenge, via Andrew Sheeler.

Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho this week filed a high-profile civil lawsuit against the city of Sacramento regarding homeless camps, but it’s unclear when a judge will actually make a ruling, via Theresa Clift.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee

Newsom Vetoes Controversial Gender-Identity Bill in California

Deviating from his past legislative support of transgender youth in California, Democratic governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have required parents to demonstrate affirmation of their child’s gender identity in custody court battles.

Under California Bill AB957, judges would have been legally obligated to specifically consider whether parents have affirmed their child’s gender identity or gender expression in determining “the health, safety, and welfare of the child.” The California State Assembly passed the bill along strictly party lines earlier this month, hoping to advance transgender rights in the state.

Newsom said in a statement late Friday night he appreciates “the passion and values” of Democratic assembly member Lori Wilson for authoring the bill but disclosed he couldn’t sign it.

“I share a deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians, an effort that has guided my decisions through many decades in public office,” Newsom wrote.

“That said, I urge caution when the Executive and Legislative branches of state government attempt to dictate – in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic – legal standards for the Judicial branch to apply,” he added. “Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities.”

Nonetheless, the California governor noted judges are still “required to consider a child’s health, safety, and welfare” in the context of their gender identity when hearing out parents in child custody cases, even if the bill wasn’t signed.

“Moreover, a court, under existing law, is required to consider a child’s health,
safety, and welfare when determining the best interests of a child in these
proceedings, including the parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity,” he concluded.

Following the governor’s veto, Wilson expressed her disappointment with the decision.

“I am extremely disappointed. I know the Governor’s record. He’s been a champion for the LGBTQ+ community for years and even before it was popular to do so,” Wilson said in a statement. “However, on this point, the Governor and I disagree on the best way to protect [Transgender, Gender-Diverse and Intersex] kids.”

She added her bill was intended “to give [the trans community] a voice, particularly in the family court system where a non-affirming parent could have a detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of a child.”

Democratic state senator Scott Wiener, who co-authored the bill, also called out Newsom for rejecting it.

“This veto is a tragedy for trans kids here & around the country,” Wiener posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “These kids are living in fear, with right wing politicians working to out them, deny them health care, ban them from sports & restrooms & erase their humanity. CA needs to unequivocally stand with these kids.”

“Governor Newsom has been such a staunch ally to the LGBTQ community. A true champion. Respectfully, however, this veto is a mistake,” he continued.

Click here to read the full article in the National Review

Federal Judge Again Strikes Down California law Banning Gun Magazines of More Than 10 rounds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California cannot ban gun owners from having detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez won’t take effect immediately. California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, has already filed a notice to appeal the ruling. The ban is likely to remain in effect while the case is still pending.

This is the second time Benitez has struck down California’s law banning certain types of magazines. The first time he struck it down — way back in 2017 — an appeals court ended up reversing his decision.

But last year, the U.S. Supreme Court set a new standard for how to interpret the nation’s gun laws. The new standard relies more on the historical tradition of gun regulation rather than public interests, including safety.

The Supreme Court ordered the case to be heard again in light of the new standards. It’s one of three high-profile challenges to California gun laws that are getting new hearings in court. The other two cases challenge California laws banning assault-style weapons and limiting purchases of ammunition.

Benitez ruled that “there is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity.” He said detachable magazines “solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun.”

“There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers,” Benitez wrote. “Yet, under this statute, the State says ‘too bad.’”

Bonta said larger capacity magazines are also important to mass shooters, allowing them to fire quickly into crowds of people without reloading. He said the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear the new standard for reviewing gun laws “did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states.”

“We believe that the district court got this wrong,” Bonta said. “We will move quickly to correct this incredibly dangerous mistake.”

Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, praised Benitez for a “thoughtful and in-depth approach.”

“Sure, the state will appeal, but the clock is ticking on laws that violate the Constitution,” Michel said.

California has been at the forefront of gun restrictions in the United States. Last week, California became the first state to call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban assault weapons and gun sales to people under 21, among other changes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called Benitez’s ruling “a radical decision.”

Click here to read the full article in AP News