California High School Athletes Sue Governor Over Indoor Sports Restrictions

March 2, 2021 Updated: March 2, 2021

A group of high school athletes in Southern California are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom over the statewide ban on indoor youth sports during the CCP virus pandemic.

Five student athletes from Orange County—two volleyball players, a basketball player, a wrestler, and a cheerleader—filed a joint lawsuit against Newsom, seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow them to return to competition under the same guidelines used by college or professional sports.

The lawsuit argues that the Democratic governor’s youth sports rules violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, since college and professional athletes in California have been allowed to compete indoors while high school athletes are prohibited from playing indoors unless in a “yellow tier” county, where the CCP (Chinese Communist party) virus situation is least severe and public health measures are least restrictive.

“They can’t say that it’s okay for college to play and not okay for the high school kids to play,” one of the students’ fathers said, reported Fox News. “The time to move forward is now, there’s not a huge risk to these kids, especially if we follow the same protocols that colleges and pros follow.”

The suing students are represented by the same attorneys who recently won a temporary restraining order against Newsom’s indoor sports guidelines in a similar case filed in San Diego County. Stephen Grebing, one of the attorneys, told Fox News that they “plan to spread this victory throughout California.”

Last month, a judge in San Diego ruled in favor of two high school football players, granting a temporary restraining order against the state rules and allowing all youth sports in the county to resume, as long as they “follow the same or similar COVID-19 protocols imposed for competition in professional and/or collegiate sports within the county.”

The lawsuit came amid an effort to force Newsom into a recall election. Organizers of the recall movement recently announced that they’ve collected more than 1.8 million signatures, far more than the 1.5 million they needed before the March 17 deadline, although a portion of the signatures may not be deemed valid.

If the recall effort gets all the needed signatures, two questions will be added to the ballot in an election that will take place near the end of this year. The ballot will ask voters if they want to recall the governor, and who should replace him in that case. Hundreds of candidates could be on the list, since California doesn’t place a cap on the number of candidates for recalls, and a candidate only needs a relative majority to win.