Restraining order against stay-at-home order

Holley Law, staff writer

In Clay County, a temporary restraining order was issued against Governor JB Pritzker by the County Judge over the stay-at-home order. Darren Bailey, a state representative filed a lawsuit against Pritzker and the stay-at-home order. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday after Pritzker announced that the stay-at-home order was extended through May 30th. There will be a few modifications that will come along with the new order as the state government tries its best to reopen the state. Monday, April 27 was the first hearing for the lawsuit where Judge Micheal McHaney ruled against Pritzker’s executive order, granting a restraining order that will temporarily block the stay-at-home order. The restraining order takes effect on Friday, May 1.

Though, this does not mean that the stay-at-home order has been lifted. Pritzker’s legal team had a week to appeal the judges ruling, and according to the Attorney General, the order does not impact the entire state. The news of the judge’s ruling came in the middle of Gov. Pritzker’s daily COVID-19 update. He said, “we are certainly going to act in a swift action to have this ruling overturned.”  The governor’s office said that if they lose the appeal there will be new directives that will be issued.

The ruling only applies to Bailey, but the lawyer said that because Pritzker is acting on behalf of the Illinois Government, he believes that he can not put out a new ruling and exclude Bailey from it, therefore making binding for the entirety of Illinois.  “The Order applies to the litigants before the Court, which includes Pritzker. While Pritzker is restrained from enforcing restraint on Bailey under the Order, a state actor cannot carve out only one citizen and enforce against the rest who are situated similarly without inviting additional constitutional prohibitions. Pritzker appears to recognize this reality as he has stated that he will issue “public health directives” as opposed to Orders,” the attorney said. 

Bailey believes that Pritzker is overextending his powers by continuously extending the order when it runs out. Pritzker has said he is doing this to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 breakout. “We have a mechanism in place through the Illinois Department of Public Health; and how to act during a pandemic was laid out many years ago, long before J.B. Pritzker came to office. I’ve asked him since day one to respect local governments throughout the state and he’s refused, but I believe this lawsuit is the mechanism by which ‘we the people’ will be allowed to govern ourselves as our constitution demands.” says Bailey. Pritzker stresses public health and says that the virus is not only a Chicago issue but also an issue statewide.