California’s Senate Elections Committee has approved a bill that would allow the names and addresses of those who signed the petition to remove Governor Gavin Newsom (D) from office to the public to be revealed; a move considered a voter intimidation technique.

The bill, SB 663, if passed, would effectively violate the rights of those who wanted Newsom to be removed but did not want their names or addresses made public. Part of the reason for the petition is because of Newsom’s far-reaching lockdowns, which have devastated countless businesses around the country.

The bill reads that signers of the petition will then have 45 days to delete their names from the list reports the Post Millennial.

“This bill would… authorize the target of a recall petition to inspect the petition… for purposes of communicating with registered voters to determine whether they signed the recall petition and whether they understood the recall petition they may have signed, and to assist registered voters to withdraw their signatures on the recall petition, if they so desire.”

The petitioners’ names would not be released, but they would be made known to the government, which would then be able to contact them to ask if they understand the petition or tell them how to remove their name from it.

These factors seem to be working together to persuade voters to withdraw their signatures on the petition which claims that Newsom failed at his job, destroying the lives and businesses of so many hardworking Californians. The petition has been signed by over 2 million people.

In addition to the lockdowns, the petition cites the problems of housing and homelessness, increasing violence, inadequate schools, and legislation that failed freelancers and others in the gig economy.

Newsom announced his own recall campaign against the recall petition in March. He started a committee called “Stop the Republican Recall” to raise funds to protect his seat, claiming that white nationalists and right-wing militias are plotting to depose him.

Orrin Heatlie, a former county sheriff’s sergeant who filed the petition, called Newsom’s allegations a “smear operation.”

The initiative to expose petitioners’ names and addresses raises questions about the First Amendment, which states that Americans have the right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Supreme Court has ruled that anonymous expression is covered under the law. When it comes to political action, the Supreme Court has expressly protected anonymous expression. In NAACP v. Alabama, a civil rights case before the court, the court ruled that the association did not have to turn over its membership list despite the state’s interest.

Thus, this demand for the names and addresses of those who want Newsom to resign benefits only the governor and his rule.

SB 663, sponsored by State Senator Josh Newman, will now go into the California legislative process. It would pose a serious threat to those who want to depose the unpopular Democrat or his supporters if it is passed. 

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