A panel of appellate court justices Friday overturned an Orange County Superior Court judge’s ruling siding with Huntington Beach in its lawsuit challenging the state’s so-called Sanctuary State law.
Huntington Beach officials argued the city did not have to abide by the state’s California Values Act because it is a charter city and the constitution gives charter cities more authority to impose laws, which supersede state laws.
The three-justice panel of the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal disagreed.
The justices said the state’s law was constitutional “as applied to charter cities because it addresses matters of statewide concern — including public safety and health, effective policing and protection of constitutional rights,” Associate Justice Richard F. Fybel wrote the opinion with justices Raymond J. Ikola and Thomas Goethals concurring.
Fybel ruled that the state law “is reasonably related to resolution of those statewide concerns, and is narrowly tailored to avoid unnecessary interference in local government.”
The justices also found that the American Civil Liberties Union, Los Alamitos Community United and four residents lacked legal standing to intervene in the case.
Huntington Beach attorney Michael Gates told City News Service that he will recommend the City Council appeal to the state Supreme Court.
The justices opinion “not only makes the state’s case, they go beyond it and add additional analysis,” Gates said.
“I’m very disappointed in the ruling and will talk to the city council about the next steps, but I don’t believe, based on all of my extensive research of all of the case law, that this is a reasonable, final word on this.”
The issue was destined to be settled by the state Supreme Court in any event, Gates acknowledged.
The justices’ opinion is “saying that express constitutional authority is subordinate to (the justices’) analysis,” Gates said. “You don’t get to qualify or alter what the constitution says, or to rewrite the constitution.”
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