Dhillon speaks at the White House's Social Media Summit in 2019
|Republican National Committeewoman|
|Assumed office |
July 19, 2016
Serving with Shawn Steel
|Preceded by||Linda Ackerman|
Harmeet Kaur Dhillon
1969 (age 50–51)
Chandigarh, Punjab, India
|Spouse(s)||Kanwarjit Singh (divorced)|
Sarvjit Randhawa (2011)
|Residence||San Francisco, California|
Sea Ranch, California
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College|
University of Virginia
Harmeet Kaur Dhillon (born 1969) is an American lawyer and Republican Party official. She is the former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party, and the National Committeewoman of the Republican National Committee for California. She owns a law practice called Dhillon Law Group Inc., and in 2018 helped launch the non-profit Center for American Liberty, which does legal work related to civil liberties. She is a Fox News contributor.
During the coronavirus pandemic, she filed numerous unsuccessful lawsuits to halt the implementation of Stay Home Orders, as well as other emergency restrictions implemented to halt the spread of the coronavirus. She criticized requirements that people wear face masks (claiming that "the masks don't work"), called for the re-opening of the economy, and criticized voting reforms intended to make it easier to vote through postal voting at a time when in-person voting posed a public health risk.
Early life and education
Dhillon was born in Chandigarh, India in 1969. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was a child so that her father could pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon. Her family eventually settled in Smithfield, North Carolina. After finishing high school at age 16, she attended college at Dartmouth. She became a writer and eventually editor-in-chief at The Dartmouth Review. After graduating, she attended law school at the University of Virginia.
Legal career and political activism
In 2008, Dhillon ran for a seat in the California Assembly. She lost the race but exceeded expectations by garnering 17% of the vote in her heavily Democratic district. She ran for the California Senate in 2012, but she was unsuccessful. She served as the chair of the San Francisco Republican Party.
Dhillon became a board member of the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union after the September 11 attacks, in connection with her work on discrimination against Sikhs and other South Asians, and stayed on the board for three years. She has been heavily criticized by Republican activists for her ties to the ACLU, as well as her past contributions to the political campaigning of Kamala Harris.
Dhillon was chosen to be a member of the California Republican Party's Board in 2013; she became the National Committeewoman for the Republican National Committee in 2016. She also gave the opening prayer at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
On July 11, 2019, Dhillon was introduced by President Donald Trump and gave a speech at the President's "Social Media Summit". Dhillon is a co-chair of Women for Trump. She has described Laura Ingraham as a "long time mentor."
Dhillon filed a lawsuit in April 2017 against University of California, Berkeley on behalf of the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) and Young America's Foundation for freedom of speech issues, particularly the school cancelling Ann Coulter's speech quoting security reasons. The suit was settled in December 2018, with Dhillon arguing that it had forced the university to change its policies about controversial speakers, whereas the university maintained that it had already been following the amended policies before.
In August 2017, James Damore, the Google memo writer, hired Dhillon to be his lawyer against Google. Dhillon's firm has said it is also willing to represent more employees from Google that have similar stories to Damore. though Dhillon has already lost an appeal to the National Labor Relations Board. Damore's lawsuit against Google also was dismissed pursuant to a mandatory arbitration clause; however, the case continues without him.
Conservative social media activist/Journalist Andy Ngo retained Dhillon as his attorney after being assaulted on the street in Portland, Oregon, in June 2019. In June 2020, Dhillon filed suit on behalf of Ngo against antifa seeking $900,000 in damages for assault and emotional distress, and an injunction to prevent further harassment. The lawsuit cites Rose City Antifa, five other named defendants, and additional unknown assailants. It stems from multiple alleged attacks on Ngo in Portland during 2019, and accuses Rose City Antifa in particular of a "pattern of racketeering activities".
During the coronavirus pandemic, Dhillon was behind many lawsuits challenging Stay Home Orders enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to halt the spread of the virus. By June 2020, she had filed more than a dozen lawsuits against California.
On April 13 and 24, 2020, Dhillon filed suits against the state of California challenging its Stay Home Order. On behalf of two pastors in Riverside County, two parishioners in San Bernardino County, and seven businesses, including restaurants, a pet-grooming shop and a gondola company, she argued that their constitutional rights were being violated. Dhillon also filed lawsuits against the governors of New Jersey and Virginia over their restrictions on religious services. Most of these lawsuits were filed through the Center for American Liberty. Dhillon later argued that her lawsuits led to "large sectors of California’s economy opening up much sooner than the governor originally intended", which however in the assessment of The New York Times contributed to an "alarming surge in cases" in the second half of June. She criticized California's decision to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters for the 2020 election due to the public health risks of in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic. In July 2020, it was reported that she was suing state and local governments in California to keep nail salons and barbers open during the pandemic, and to prevent the closure of schools during the pandemic.
In May 2020, Dhillon criticized Virginia for requiring the use of face masks in public. She claimed that "the masks don't work."
In June 2020, she criticized California for requiring the use of face masks in public when individuals were unable to physically distance. She argued that people should be free to make their own decisions. She called on California to reopen its economy even though coronavirus cases were surging. In July 2020, she said that she was considering filing a lawsuit over a restriction on singing or chanting in church to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
She filed a lawsuit against Hawaii when the state required that visitors to Hawaii undergo quarantine upon arrival. In July 2020, a judge ruled that the emergency mandate was a reasonable response to the public health threat posed by the coronavirus.
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