On Saturday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his administration would use Texas’ controversial abortion ban as a blueprint for a bill that would allow Californians to sue “anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts.”
“SCOTUS is letting private citizens in Texas sue to stop abortion?!” Newsom said in a tweet on Saturday, “If TX can ban abortion and endanger lives, CA can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives.”
The Governor’s statement came after the Supreme Court allowed the Texas law to remain in effect last Friday, while the suit against Texas state health officials proceeded in a lower federal court.
There are few details known about the proposed California legislation, other than how it will be enforced and that plaintiffs suing firearms manufacturers could be awarded at least $10,000, according to Newsom’s statement.
As predicted, SB 8 has resulted in a number of copycat bills. According to Forbes, state legislatures in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Ohio have all introduced similar abortion bans, and even more could be on the way.
However the proposed California legislation would be the first “copycat” to use an SB 8-style enforcement mechanism for a different goal.
Newsom’s proposed bill probably stands a good chance in the California legislature, where Democrats have a supermajority in both chambers, but even if it doesn’t pass, it has the potential to underscore the absurdity of the mechanism behind SB 8.
As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote Friday in a minority opinion, “If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery,” as reported by Vox.