14 Feb Why is it so important that restrictions of the few constitutional rights we have left be “narrowly tailored”?
First of all, “narrowly tailored” means that when California restricts a Constitutional right, it must be proportional to the problem. Take for instance the Covid-19 crisis. On the day we were cleared to exercise our First Amendment Rights (informing California that voters want jury trial rights in our family and juvenile dependency courts) Gov Newsom declared a state of emergency. He then ordered our signature gatherers to remain confined to their homes. Now, in the midst of an even worse Covid-19 crisis, we are no longer confined to our homes. Instead we maintain distance between ourselves and others and we wear masks. Obviously this second restriction is less of a violation of our Constitutional rights, because proportionately, it is a lesser restriction on a bigger problem. The future will judge whether or not wearing masks and social distancing should have been the first restriction instead of confining people to their homes. Gov Newsom ended up with huge protests which counteracted the confinement regulations.
Governmental warranted interference in our lives is supposed to be as least restrictive as possible from the start of the problem. This is important in order to protect our remaining Constitutional rights, and prevent ongoing governmental overreach on our freedoms.
I don’t know how the future will judge the past. However, immediately after we were prevented from leaving our homes, we asked Secretary of State, Alex Padilla (now a senator) to allow us to gather registered voter’s signatures through electronic means or through an extension of time. He wrote back to us and said no. A federal Magistrate Judge’s wrote back to us and said that the State of California and the Governor have immunity from this restriction on our First Amendment Rights during a crisis like Covid. You can read more about it here: Magistrate-Judge-Response
We need to hold California accountable every time it restricts a Constitutional right. We need to review every restriction to keep it “narrowly tailored”. Otherwise our First Amendment Rights (along with other Constitutional rights) will start to disappear under vague, ambiguous orders and we won’t even notice it happening.