* Background is here if you need it. From CNN…
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh denied a request from Illinois Republicans to block Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s rule that bars political rallies of more than 50 people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Republicans had filed an emergency petition asking the court to rule before 6 p.m., ET on Saturday.
The Republicans argued the governor’s rule violated the Constitution because it treated political rallies differently than church services or Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
The rush for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in this case was pegged — so went the argument — to the urgent need to clear the legal way for a July 4 picnic and fireworks to rally the Will County GOP faithful — at a farm, a place with plenty of room for people to spread out. […]
On July 3, the judges - Diane Wood, tapped for the bench by Democratic ex-President Bill Clinton; Joel Flaum, an appointee of former Republican President Gerald Ford; and Amy Barrett, tapped by Trump (and who is on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court justices) - signed an order denying the emergency challenge.
“If 100 Democrats or 100 Republicans gather and ten get infected, those ten may go home and infect a local shopkeeper, a local grocery-store worker, their postal carrier, or their grandmother—someone who had no interest in the earlier gathering. Thus, the balance of harms in this instance strongly favors the governor,” the three judges concluded. […]
On July 4 the Liberty lawyers, Daniel Suhr and Jeffrey Schwab, filed an emergency application for an injunction with Kavanaugh.
They told Kavanaugh in their brief, the question is, “Does the Governor of Illinois, who permits gatherings of 50 or more for religious speech or certain protestors’ speech (a Black Lives Matters reference) violate the First Amendment by prohibiting such gatherings for political parties’ speech?”
* Meanwhile, on to Capitol News Illinois…
All of Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive orders since April 8 pertaining to the novel coronavirus pandemic are void because he exceeded his authority when he used his emergency powers for more than 30 days, a Clay County judge ruled Thursday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health instead has “supreme authority” to close businesses and restrict residents’ activities in a public health crisis, Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney added.
His decision, which he expanded to apply to all Illinoisans, is the latest ruling in Xenia Republican Rep. Darren Bailey’s lawsuit. He argued in his April 23 filing that the governor could not issue successive disaster proclamations to manage COVID-19.
The attorney general’s office is likely to ask a higher court to reconsider the order. Thomas DeVore, Bailey’s attorney, said business occupancy limitations and other restrictions can no longer be enforced.
An official in the governor’s office, though, said the judge’s ruling is one “contradicted by multiple other” judges. She added “it is not a final judgement and has no injunction.” Phase 4 of the reopening plan is in effect, she said.
* Michael Ciesla…
The Governor’s spokeswoman, Emily Bittner, says the Order is not final and did not include an injunction barring the State from enforcing the Governor’s phase four rules. No injunction is necessary to effectuate the ruling in the Order. The case was brought as a chancery case. Plaintiffs in chancery cases seek remedies that are non-monetary such as injunctions or, in this case, a declaration of the legality of executive orders. The Court declared that all of the Governor’s executive orders regarding COVID-19 are void as of April 8, 2020. Such declaration is the final say of the Circuit Court of Illinois. No injunction is needed as the Order simply erased the COVID-19 executive orders. If a citizen or a business acts in defiance of the now void executive orders and law enforcement or a government agency seeks to punish such action, then it would be proper for the person or business would seek an injunction to bar enforcement of the executive orders.