The Department of Justice has issued a statement in support of a lawsuit filed by an Illinois lawmaker against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.
ABC 7 reported that state Rep. Darren Bailey (R) alleged in his lawsuit that “Pritzker’s actions were unlawful because the stay-at-home order extended beyond the 30-day time period imposed by the legislature.” The DOJ agreed in its statement of interest, saying “the Governor exceeded his authority when issuing the executive order.”
More from ABC 7:
Bailey’s lawsuit was filed in state court but Pritzker, through the Illinois Attorney General, sought to have Bailey’s case moved to the federal court. The Justice Department argues against that, saying, “the Governor cannot show that any federal issue is necessarily raised in the complaint.”
“When the Department of Justice speaks, it is generally at least listened to, and I expect that the judge will read this very carefully and consider the arguments,” said ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer.
The governor’s spokesperson responded, saying, “It’s unfortunate the Department of Justice is opposing state efforts to protect the people of Illinois from a virus that has already caused the deaths of 4,750 people here.”
The outlet reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Illinois also released a statement supporting Bailey’s lawsuit.
“However well-intentioned they may be, the executive orders appear to reach far beyond the scope of the 30-day emergency authority granted to the Governor under Illinois law,” said U.S. attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft. “Even during times of crisis, executive actions undertaken in the name of public safety must be lawful. And while the people of Illinois must be physically protected from the effects of this public health crisis, including by complying with CDC guidelines their constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties must be safeguarded as well.”
The DOJ urged Illinois state court to rule on Bailey’s lawsuit “which, because of the sweeping nature of the Orders, may affect millions of lives and raise significant constitutional concerns in other litigation.”
Bailey filed the lawsuit in late April, saying in a statement: “Enough is enough. I filed this lawsuit on behalf of myself and my constituents who are ready to go back to work and resume a normal life.”
Bailey argued that “The governor’s one-size-fits-all thing was a little frustrating to me, and unbeknownst and then to find out some of these facts, I realize yeah, it’s indeed unconstitutional because he is not following Illinois law.” He came to that conclusion after learning Pritzker doesn’t have the authority to extend the lockdown order set by the legislature. Pritzker, however, thinks differently.
“It’s insulting,” he said, according to ABC 7. “It’s dangerous, and people’s safety and health has now been put at risk.”
“Our governor needs to focus on restoring this state and getting this state back up and running and making it better,” Bailey said later.
Author: Ashe Schow
Source: Daily Wire: DOJ Supports Lawsuit Against Illinois Stay-At-Home Order