“Cannot Restrict Freedoms” – Illinois Judge Voids Governor Pritzker’s Coronavirus Lockdown Orders

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker

A southern Illinois judge on Thursday voided Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Coronavirus lockdown orders.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office is expected to appeal.

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Pritzker first declared a statewide disaster because of Coronavirus back in early March and continued to issue 30 day extensions — he has used the disaster proclamations in his restrictions in each ‘reopening phase’ dubbed “Restore Illinois.”

Recall, back in April Republican Rep. Darren Bailey sought a restraining order against Governor Pritzker and Clay County Circuit Judge Michael McHaney sided with him personally.

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Pritzker appealed back in May, however the Illinois Supreme Court declined to intervene.

Rep. Bailey then withdrew and refiled the lawsuit to include all residents and businesses.

Judge Michael McHaney on Thursday said state law does not give governors the authority to extend disaster proclamations past 30 days or activities and businesses via executive order.

Via The Chicago Tribune:

A southern Illinois judge on Thursday declared void Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s orders aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus, saying state law doesn’t allow governors to extend disaster proclamations beyond 30 days or restrict the activities of residents and businesses by executive order.

The immediate implications of Clay County Circuit Judge Michael McHaney’s order, which stemmed from a lawsuit filed by state Rep. Darren Bailey, were not clear.

“That’s gone as we stand here right now,” said Bailey’s attorney, Thomas DeVore.

“This is a victory for freedom. This is a victory for the people of Illinois,” Bailey said Thursday outside the courthouse, where he was greeted by supporters, some of whom wore T-shirts that read “My governor is an idiot” on the front and “Fire Pritzker” on the back. None of them appeared to be wearing the face coverings required under Pritzker’s executive order.

Pritzker spokeswoman Emily Bittner downplayed the significance of the ruling in a statement.

“Every other court — both state and federal — that has considered these exact issues has agreed with the administration that executive orders protecting Illinoisans’ health and safety are well within the governor’s constitutional authority,” Bittner said. “This includes a federal court decision earlier today.”

State Rep. Darren Bailey tweeted, “Illinois is Open! Live Responsible!”

Earlier Thursday, US District Judge Sara Ellis, an Obama-appointee, denied the Illinois GOP’s request to block Pritzker’s limit on gatherings from applying to political parties. – reported the Chicago Tribune.


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