Benitez v. Newsom

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“Governor Newsom is ignoring the proper, and constitutional, channel to appropriate funds.”
Harmeet Signature

Case Overview

Two clients represented by The Center for American Liberty’s lawsuit (@Liberty_Ctr), in coordination with The Dhillon Law Group (@dhillonlaw), filed an emergency petition to the California Supreme Court requesting the Court immediately stay Governor Newsom’s appropriation of $75 million to unnamed regional non-profits so they can, in turn, provide $500 checks to unemployed undocumented immigrants.

California and federal law both prohibit the extension of unemployment benefits to undocumented immigrants. Further, appropriating gifts to an organization outside of the exclusive control of the State violates California’s Constitution.

The lawsuit names California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state’s Director of the Department of Finance, Keely Bosler as defendants in their official capacities.

“The Governor made clear in his comments that he is giving $75 million in lieu of unemployment benefits that state and federal law bar to aliens working here illegally,” said Harmeet K. Dhillon. “It is also concerning that unnamed nonprofits, who have no accountability to the taxpayer, are going to receive and distribute taxpayer dollars.”

“This is taxpayer money that may only be appropriated by the legislative branch. This is not a slush fund for the Governor to spend as he sees fit,” Dhillon said. “Governor Newsom is ignoring the proper, and constitutional, channel to appropriate funds. At a time when law-abiding Californians are crushed by unemployment, housing issues, business closures, and massive limitations on our normal lives, Governor Newsom is doing an end-run around the legal guardrails in place. There is no accountability over the distribution of these funds to individuals legally not entitled to cash benefits. The laws apply to everyone, even the Governor, and we hope the California Supreme Court will agree.”

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