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E-210 - Tuesday, August 6, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Tuesday! As noted in the rundown above, I'm continuing day 2 of seven bills in seven days today, although today I include after the jump. While yesterday I only got to the "alligator sausage," legislatively speaking as a Friend of The Nooner called it, there are a few issues I need to tackle today as well as the Seven Bills in Seven Days project.
I am creating a page where I'll be tracking the seven bills (and perhaps a few more) through the end of session, and will note changes to those pages above starting tomorrow, like I do the Election Updates. I do have more to explore on yesterday's AB 719 discussion on crocodile and alligator products.
Yes, I have bitten off way more than I can chew this week. I'm enjoying it and love the feedback, but please pardon grammar errors and stay tuned for corrections as feedback comes in. I work hard on sourcing to objective materials, but I do forget at times.
CA50 (East San Diego): As noted above, former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio (R) yesterday announced a bid for the congressional seat currently held by Duncan Hunter (R), who faces a trial beginning September 10 but currently is seeking re-election. As an active candidate, DeMaio has to step down from his drive-time radio show on KOGO-AM San Diego, and the station yesterday announced that Friend of the Nooner Lou Penrose will be taking the mic. Penrose is a longtime staffer and government relations professional. I've previously enjoyed providing Sacramento updates a couple of times when Penrose was guest-hosting for DeMaio and he runs a great show. The Penrose Report started yesterday and you can listen online from 3-6pm weekdays.
As I write in the analysis, there is an interesting date approaching later this month. August 22 is likely the last date that Hunter can resign and trigger a special election, which makes it much more likely that the seat stays in GOP hands. After that, the special election will likely be consolidated with the March 3, 2020 primary election. While the seat is still likely Republican, the longer the story drags out particularly once Hunter's trial begins September 10, the better shot Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar has at persuading voters to the return candidate a chance.
SB 27 LAWSUITS MULTIPLY: Last week, I wrote about the lawsuit by Rocky De La Fuente challenging the constitutionality of SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener), the bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last week. That federal suit was filed in the Southern District of California by De La Fuente (San Diego), a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who is running in 2020 as a Republican, alleging that the bill infringes on the Qualifications Clause of the Constitution that prescribes criteria for President and First Amendment rights of association of him and his (now) fellow Republican Party members. Yesterday, suits were also filed in the Eastern District (Sacramento) and Central District (Los Angeles).
Today, the Trump campaign and Republican, well, followed suit, also in the Eastern District. This will be the highest profile case. I haven't had time to review the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure yet on case consolidation across districts, but will look into it this afternoon.
The Eastern District suit was filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of four voters, representing both registered Democrats and Republicans. The Central District case was filed on behalf of a Los Angeles County GOP voter.
I shared my legal perspective on SB 27 on July 12 and need not rehash that today. I really hope the Eastern District case goes to trial as I'll be the kiddo lining up to watch arguments.
A quick answer to a few questions I have gotten that actually trips up law students when faced for the first time. For us, it was in second year Con Law II. Each of the suits allege SB 27 violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, which often come as a two-fer. Peas and carrots. Bacon and eggs. Chicken and waffles.
The First Amendment provides:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The Fourteenth Amendment was one of the Reconstruction Amendments following the civil war. The Fourteenth does many things, but for our purposes today, Section 1 is what's important, specifically the Privileges and Immunities clause:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Thus, the Fourteenth adopted in 1868 through many cases over the years extends the enumerated rights in the First to laws made by the state, even though the language of the First Amendment adopted in 1791 speaks to Congress.
That's Tuesday simple and of course entire books have been written on the topic.
SEVEN BILLS IN SEVEN DAYS - VAXX and #CAKEDAY after the jump...
SEVEN BILLS IN SEVEN DAYS
This series is a simplification of issues to illustrate the legislative process. They are not meant to be comprehensive analyses of all the issues raised by proponents and opponents, which would simply not be possible in the space allowed in The Nooner.
SB 276 (Pan): Immunizations: medical exemptions.
Location: Assembly Appropriations (suspense file)
Summary: This bill provides the state Department of Public Health with oversight of medical exemptions granted from vaccinations, beginning January 1, 2021. Such oversight would be an annual review of exemption data from schools and the ability to review for approval or denial individual medical exemptions in certain circumstances. The bill further prohibits a physician from charging for filling out a medical exemption or for an examination for a temporary medical exemption.
This is an extremely complicated bill and a full summary does not fit in The Nooner. The Assembly Health Committee analysis has a comprehensive analysis that, if you are interested is worth reading. I just don't know how to summarize in for Noonerlandia.
Background: Generally, there are mandatory vaccinations for around ten communicable diseases youth who wish to enroll in public or private schools or other programs, such as child care. Historically, those mandatory requirements could be waived for medical or personal beliefs.
In 2015 following concerns of communicable disease outbreaks such as pertussis ("whooping cough") and measles and increasing personal belief exemptions, State Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician, introduced SB 277 to eliminate such exemptions, allowing only exemptions granted by a physician. That bill was passed largely on a party-line vote and signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Procedural background: The bill has followed the usual legislative process.
Who supports: Medical associations, health advocates, health insurance companies, education organizations, and numerous individuals.
Who opposes the bill: Conservative medical associations, naturopathy advocates, pro-life organizations, and numerous individuals.
A full list of support and opposition is available in the Assembly Health Committee analysis. While the bill has been subsequently amended, the previous positions are unlikely to have changed.
Proponents argue: Since SB 277 went into effect on January 1, 2016, outbreaks of communicable diseases that have effective vaccines have continued among both youth and adults. A small number of physicians grant a disproportionate share of medical exemptions and there is little a local agency can do to question the veracity of the medical purpose of the exemption. Some of these have advertised one-time services specifically for granting such exemptions, without an ongoing physician-patient relationship. This increases the likelihood that youth without medical necessity are granted an exemption and thus endanger the health of those with legitimate medical exemptions, such as those with congenital immune deficiencies or those caused by medical treatment for diseases such as cancer. Because vaccinations work by using a strain of a virus that lies dormant for people with uncompromised immune system, the same vaccine can cause harm to those compromised. Proponents argue that there is no medical evidence of harm from vaccines to individuals with no medical contraindication.
Proponents cite the 1905 Supreme Court decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts 197 U.S. 11 (1905), upholding mandatory vaccinations within the state police powers of public safety.
Opponents argue: In the debate over SB 277 in 2015, Senator Pan said publicly that he was only legislating the personal belief exemption and not medical exemptions. Opponents argue there was a promise to not touch medical exemptions in the future.
Opponents argue that legislators were duped into supporting SB 277 only to have the issue reappear four years later as SB 276. Opponents believe that any vaccine mandate is an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment freedom of religion and poses a medical complications, particularly of autism, to their children.
Opponents argue that Jacobson was wrongfully decided and that vaccination requirements are far broader now than at the beginning of the 20th century.
Why the bill is Noonerifically interesting: Unlike most of the bills we're watching in 7 Bills in 7 Days, SB 276 lacks a clash of lobbying titans. That said, the Assembly Health Committee hearing on the bill was five-hours long demonstrating the passion on both sides.
The proponents have the heft from large medical organizations and the health care industry, while the opponents are generally passionate individuals who have converged on Sacramento for each legislative step the bill has taken. They are heavily organized, with websites such as AVoiceForChoiceAdvocacy.org, and have several celebrity backers who have appeared in the Capitol to lobby. Opponents have driven all night from Southern California for hearings along the way and to lobby members.
The proponents are well connected and well-funded through large organizations who regularly participate politically and legislatively. The opponents are also well-resourced, although their backing is generally outside of normal disclosure requirements. There are allegations that the Church of Scientology is a major backer of the "Conscience Coalition" that is a national effort with a focus on opposing SB 276 and similar efforts. It is run by Greg Mitchell, a lobbyist out of the Washington, DC area who moved there to be chief of staff when Jim Rogan was elected to Congress. If you compare the Conscience Coalition and Mitchell's site, it's clear they designed by the same firm. The executive director of the Conscience Coalition is Jonathan Lockwood, a conservative strategist who works on issues in a variety of states.
(Total but interesting aside...now-OC superior court judge Rogan, former Assembly Republican Leader, was ousted after two terms in 2000 by now-congressman Adam Schiff, largely attributed to the backlash of Rogan's role as a floor manager of the Articles of Impeachment of Bill Clinton. Democrats need to remember impeachment overreach.)
On a more serious note, bill opponents have threatened violence including death threats against bill author Pan and committee members, including after recent mass shootings. Following the June 27 Assembly Health hearing, backers converged outside the Governor's Office and chanted "We will not comply!" and "resist!" and sand "We Shall Overcome."
The California Highway Patrol, which provides security to the State Capitol and constitutional officers had additional officers assigned and likely will again when the bill is considered by Assembly Appropriations and on the Assembly Floor. The Legislature additionally has sworn officers ("sergeants") that staff committee hearings and floor sessions. Unlike when I arrived in town 25 years ago, all persons entering the Capitol pass through metal detectors and have bags x-rayed.
What's next: The bill has passed the Senate, Assembly Health Committee, and is on the Assembly Appropriations "Suspense File," which is where bills are held until all bills with a significant fiscal impact can be considered at one time, generally at a legislative deadline. That deadline is Friday, August 30. Because September 2 is Labor Day, the Legislature will meet the preceding Friday, so Suspense File will be acted on either Thursday, August 29 or August 30. Since committee chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) is the bill's principal coauthor, the bill is widely expected to be approved and advanced to the Assembly Floor. Upon expected passage, it will return to the State Senate for a vote to concur in the amendments made while the bill was in the Assembly. Governor Gavin Newsom, a parent of four school-age children, has said he has concerns about the bill while also understanding the abuse of medical exemptions.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Isabel Barreras!