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Another day, another lawsuit

Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020

* NBC 5

A southern Illinois couple has filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Public Health and the State Board of Education, alleging that the state’s plans to reopen schools this fall with safety protocols in place will “result in immediate and irreparable harm” to their three children.

The suit, filed in Clay County by James and Kali Mainer, requests a temporary restraining order that would put a halt to mandatory facial coverings, temperature checks, and limitations on groups of 50 or more individuals.

In the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, the couple alleges that the IDPH and ISBE “have promulgated unlawful, arbitrary and capricious mandates” that place an “unreasonable burden” on the family’s three children.

The family’s suit says that they have “protectable rights and interests at stake to be free from unlawful, arbitrary and capricious rule making,” and that the rules that state officials have formulated are “unlawful,” since they are only aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

* Their attorney, of course, is Tom Devore. His statement to WICS TV

My clients are merely asking the Court to follow Illinois Supreme Court precedent which holds face-masks, and other health regulations, which are intended to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not allowable under the law. It is really a quite simple legal matter unless and until the Illinois Supreme Court changes its position.

That’s a pretty bold statement. An earlier version of the story referenced a 1922 Illinois court case which says, in part

Health authorities cannot promulgate and enforce rules which merely have a tendency to prevent the spread of contagious and infectious diseases, which are not founded upon an existing condition or upon a well-founded belief that a condition is threatened which will endanger the public health. The health authorities cannot interfere with the liberties of a citizen until the emergency actually exists.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

52 Comments
  1. - All this - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:32 pm:

    It must be a hoot to live in Clay County.


  2. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:33 pm:

    The lawyer is a grifter. His clients seem to be members of the Pro-Zombies Eating People’s Brains Party.

    Our country is going to have to smarten up fast or the existential global challenges of the 21st Century will destroy us.


  3. - Bob Loblaw - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    I can’t send my kids to school as long as these people continue to do this stuff. It absolutely put my whole family at mortal risk, but I’m only allowed to passively critique process. My faith in everything American has deteriorated so rapidly and completely


  4. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    I’ve read this a couple of times and are they really arguing the schools should not be trying to protect students?


  5. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    So, the children have a right to spread a virus?


  6. - A Guy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:39 pm:

    Not sure the masks for students of a certain age group will help more than they could potentially hurt. They could become bacteria pits. Many parochial school uniforms did away with the ties for the same reason…Their best use was for flag football. They really need to seriously look at the efficacy of masks at certain grade levels.


  7. - Proud Papa Bear - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    I am in awe of my school administrators who are working night and day trying to keep all stakeholders safe and somewhat happy. It is an impossible job.


  8. - Southern Illinois Teacher - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:42 pm:

    Lawsuits like this will lead to ISBE just forgoing in person classes and only doing remote learning. Which may be what these parents/lawyer want.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    - A Guy -

    So there’s an “age” limit to protecting others… or teachers… from a global pandemic?

    I’m sure teachers will be glad to know;

    “Teach below 2nd grade, no worries”

    I dunno, advocating for *anyone* to get a pass from masks isn’t about that group, but having masks for all is about protecting people… other than ourselves.


  10. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    Suppose Tom Devore will take my lawsuit against the school district for requiring that tops be worn since it is the constitutional right of all Illinoisans to go topless, and requiring a top is “arbitrary and capricious rule making?”

    ===The health authorities cannot interfere with the liberties of a citizen until the emergency actually exists.===

    I’m certain that the Fates will insure that we’ll have an emergency that without a doubt exists.


  11. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    Like our discussion of fireworks, every American has the right to be stupid, unless their stupidity endangers the smart ones.


  12. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    “… since they are only aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.”

    Here’s the sad part: the Mainors will probably get a judgement for themselves in Clay County.

    Question then becomes, how quickly will this move to the appellate level, where reason might have a chance to prevail?

    If I’m the driver of the bus these kids ride on, do I have a right to refuse to drive that route?


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    Also, to a finer point…

    If safety at places at schools, due to “age” will be a mitigating factor for masks, look only to day care of very young children and the steps of potty training to get additional day care for a child.

    You want your child in school all day, wear a mask,

    If Kindergarteners won’t wear masks, they can continue home school.

    Bet parents will teach the kindergarteners about masks if parents don’t want a repeat of home school this spring…


  14. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    This garbage will make it harder and more confrontational for schools. I hate this. I wish I was retired.


  15. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    === the Mainors will probably get a judgement for themselves===

    I really don’t think that will be the case this time.

    This is the same shell game Bailey was pulling where he eventually took the fall back of a temporary restraining order.

    He then withdrew it himself to give cover to a judge that just skirted having his decision ruled on by a higher court.

    I’d be amazed if this judge thinks pressing his luck another time is a good idea.

    But I’ve certainly been known to overestimate the intelligence of some people too. So there’a that.


  16. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    With parents like this who have absolutely no regard for the health and safety of anyone else if it causes their precious little angel even a second of discomfort, don’t be shocked when we start to see an exodus of teachers from their profession this summer


  17. - Anonamoose - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    “The health authorities cannot interfere with the liberties of a citizen until the emergency actually exists.”

    The 129K people who have died of Covid could not be reached for comment as to the existence of the emergency.


  18. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    The 1922 opinion is a good read. Here’s my favorite line:

    “One of the important elements in the administration of health and quarantine regulations is a full measure of common sense. It is not necessary for the health authorities to wait until the person affected with a contagious disease has actually caused others to become sick by contact with him before he is placed under quarantine.”

    Ah, common sense, where have ye gone?


  19. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    https://tinyurl.com/yc94hvqt

    The TNG picture says it all.


  20. - The Way I See It - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    I don’t know how in the world they think they can get a TRO when school isn’t in session.


  21. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:30 pm:

    @ The Invisible Man–

    There’s roughly 13,000 people in Clay County. The oddds of this going in front of the judge who found for Beetle the first time around and spent some time whinging on and on about his “constitutional right to fish” are pretty high.

    Thus my prediction about a first round victory (on probably unimaginably specious grounds) for the Mainors.

    That’s the sad and scary start to this tomfoolery from the Eastern Blocheads, who would normally spend their time whining about “activist courts (banned punctuation)” and “frivolous litigation and vexatious litigants (banned punctuation)” and “wasted taxpayer dollars (multiple banned punctuations)”.

    The Blocheads and their fans are constantly whining about how they need more economic development. Then they go out and put their stupid on display, and wonder why their economies keep falling further and further behind.

    And why all their best and brightest move away.


  22. - Jocko - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:34 pm:

    ==The family’s suit says that they have “protectable rights and interests”==

    Which can put in place when they withdraw them and provide homeschool instruction. A cloth mask is an inconvenience…not an unreasonable burden.


  23. - Still Waiting - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:37 pm:

    It gets worse. Now Devore is convincing school districts to join in. Hutsonville, in Crawford County, decided last night that they are going to take on ISBE too. Now there is immense pressure for surrounding districts to jump on the bandwagon. This is a disaster.


  24. - illinifan - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:37 pm:

    We need a designated county(s) where all these folks can live as they want. They can’t leave and we won’t enter. Then let the rest of us get on with our lives.


  25. - Zim - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:41 pm:

    === don’t be shocked when we start to see an exodus of teachers from their profession this summer ===

    I can assure you from very personal experience that the exodus had been in pretty high gear prior to COVID-19, but yes, it will likely accelerate. Parents used to back up teachers. Now Karen and to a lesser extent Ken, think their little spoiled brat can do no wrong under any circumstances. Clay County is clearly no exception to the culture of self-entitlement.


  26. - Hickory - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:41 pm:

    Devore gives me one more reason to question the legal profession. Where did he go to school?


  27. - Interim Retiree - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:47 pm:

    =This garbage will make it harder and more confrontational for schools. I hate this. I wish I was retired.=

    Just finished an interim job. Got a letter from a parent saying they didn’t feel that their children should have to wear a mask this school year. (She was a former student of mine years ago from another district.) I am NOW 100% retired, LOL


  28. - Berry Beery - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:50 pm:

    I don’t care if my kids need to wear hazmat suits. Do it. They need to be in school!!!!


  29. - Weareavillage - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:52 pm:

    Kids likely aren’t vaccinated either.


  30. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 2:55 pm:

    If Hutsonville and other districts want to sue ISBE, do we have to keep sending them state aid? Their actions sure seem to indicate they don’t need the money…


  31. - billy boy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:04 pm:

    It is so so so embarrassing to live in Clay county the future home and capitol of covid 19 for the USA


  32. - OutHereInTheMiddle - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    cannot interfere with the liberties of a citizen until the emergency actually exists

    So we are at roughly 7,000 deaths & 145,000 confirmed cases. And that makes us look good next to several other states.

    How many people have to die and/or be infected before Devore and his clients will think an emergency exists? Another 5,000?


  33. - BilboSwaggins - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    -Our country is going to have to smarten up fast or the existential global challenges of the 21st Century will destroy us.-

    We’re 1/5th of the way through the century and have wasted the last 4 years dismantling every preparation that did exist for these challenges, and those weren’t enough by a mile.


  34. - logic not emotion - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    These people have gone to court before.
    https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/05/22/clay-county-judge-again-rules-against-pritzkers-stay-at-home-order-grants-exemption-to-downstate-tanning-salon-and-manager/


  35. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    From the attorney to the litigants to the judge, everyone taking part in this ongoing farce in Clay County has shown themselves to be deeply selfish in their own disgraceful way.


  36. - Mama - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    The southern IL couple’s lawsuit sounds political to me, but what do I know. Quote: ..the state’s plans to reopen schools this fall “with safety protocols in place” will result in immediate and irreparable harm” to their three children.


  37. - Mama - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:52 pm:

    Every parent I have spoken with cannot wait for their children to go back to school in the Fall. They trust the school to keep their children safe. If the kids cannot go back to school, the parents may start rioting! You have never lived until you have to deal with a group of angry parent.


  38. - Mama - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    “Kids likely aren’t vaccinated either.” There is a vaccine for COVID-19? /s

    The schools can make sure the the children are vaccinated.


  39. - Mama - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    Can someone do a statewide poll asking parents if they want their children to go back to school in the Fall, and do they think their kids will be safe from COVID-19 at school?


  40. - Practical Politics - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:20 pm:

    The Circuit Court Clerk is going to have to put on some temporary clerks to help with the case volume.


  41. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:22 pm:

    =I don’t know how in the world they think they can get a TRO when school isn’t in session.=

    And most schools have not completed their plans. I guess why that is why they are suing the ISBE/IDPH.

    I was on a IASA Zoom meeting today. One of the big pushes was that we all stick together. The problem with a place like Hutsonville is it may be the Board that is pushing this and no one else. Either way they are nuts.

    It. Is. Just. A. Mask.

    Facepalm.


  42. - Springfield Westsider - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Freaking Clay County, man….can we trade them to another state, possibly for a commodity to be named later?


  43. - dbk - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:41 pm:

    Like @Cheryl44, I had to reread this a few times to understand the logic here, such as it is.

    I still don’t get why it’s “unlawful” to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, though.

    As for their children’s “protectable rights,” well, other people - including their children’s peers, teachers, bus drivers, etc. have protectable rights, too.

    Or don’t others’ rights count?

    The logic is so twisted it makes my head hurt.


  44. - billy boy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    Springfield you do not realize how hard it is to live around some of these people but please please realize not all of us support Bailey there are actually some very good people who live in Clay county and we will be the ones paying the price


  45. - Retired SURS Emoloyee - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    Looking at a map, it appears that I-57 runs through Clay County for about ten miles with no major intersections. Thus, while I have occasionally passed through Clay County, I can honestly say that I have never stopped…thank goodness!


  46. - Mama - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:44 pm:

    Their lawsuit smells very political to me. Is dark money funding it?


  47. - Jibba - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:47 pm:

    ===are not allowable under the law===

    In times of national emergency, government can do away with almost all of your rights. You can be drafted against your will, be forced to carry a gun and shoot at other human beings, and die in near-suicidal missions. That’s life, liberty, pursuit of happiness all in one, including all your “freedom.”

    So you think wearing a mask is beyond their powers? Just wait for real courts to say.


  48. - Mama - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:50 pm:

    No one doubts there are some very good people who live in Clay county, but the entire state will pay for the decision the judge makes.


  49. - jimbo26 - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 5:12 pm:

    Maybe it is time for JB to call a special session so the legislature can vote and make it mandatory with fines. I’m guessing Devore’s buddy, Rep Bailey would not get to vote since he doesn’t like to wear a mask in session.


  50. - billy boy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 5:26 pm:

    Interstate 70 runs through Clay for less than 1 mile Mama that is what makes me so sad to live in Clay county and be associated with it but this is my home and where my family lives if ever you see me some day and ask where I live I may not be truthful


  51. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 6:57 pm:

    Has anyone reported Devore to the ARDC yet?


  52. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 8:45 pm:

    Would the Mainers have serious objections if the local hospital refused to care for their children if they catch COVID after using their right to not wear a mask.


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