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Pritzker wins one, loses one

Monday, Jul 6, 2020

* 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.

* Sun-Times

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Gooner - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 9:55 am:

    The Governor’s argument as to Clay County is interesting.

    The order clearly enters the declaration sought, and the order clearly pertains to all counts. It is, on its face, a final and appealable order.

    From a tactical standpoint, I’m not sure why the Governor would argue to the contrary. The best step would be to file the appeal, ask for a stay of the Clay County order, and as that it be heard on an accelerated docket.


  2. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    Eastern blocers should enjoy their temporary victory…it’s their last chancery.


  3. - Anon221 - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 9:58 am:

    When Mark Maxwell pushed Bailey on the effects this ruling would potentially have on removing the protections for renters and mortgage payers, he hemmed and hawed, then said the legislature would have to take care of that… sometime. Little consultation for persons or families that may now have eviction papers served on them until DeVore is done with his fun and games.


  4. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    Exploitative lawyers create bad law…for profit.


  5. - Bob Loblaw - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    The legal outcome of all this is largely immaterial when the Saturday headline on the front page was that “Judge rules Pritzker’s Orders Void.”

    That genie isn’t going back in the bottle, just like with the masks. I’m in a small minority wearing a mask everywhere I go now in southwest Illinois.


  6. - DownSouth - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    Have to agree Bob Loblaw - the genie is definitely out of the bottle in Southern IL. Not that there was great compliance to begin with but now the general attitude is “We can do what ever we want!” and believe me people are doing exactly that.


  7. - Just Another Anon - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    Last I checked, circuit court cases were non-precedential in Illinois. Without an injunction, it would be “on” any new claimant to show the invalidity of the EO. Of course, if there is no disaster declaration, it could potentially invalidate the federal aid coming to Illinois. I wonder if the Feds have held that up.


  8. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:46 am:

    I took a short drive yesterday to (through) a local Big Wally parking lot…just to see how many people were wearing masks and distancing…I saw very few masks and people shaking hands…with big grins on their freely ignorant faces.


  9. - Osborne Smith III - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    The “We can do whatever we want now!” crowd can have their victory. For me and mine, we will continue to wear masks in public and choose to patronize those businesses that are staying the course and being responsible community members by limiting their capacity and following other mitigation efforts.


  10. - Here we go again - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:52 am:

    removing the protections for renters and mortgage payers

    I was wondering about this also since I didn’t see a plan from Bailey after the court hearing was over. He didn’t address any issues other than he beat Pritzker. When I brought it up in one of his weekend threads he followers replied they didn’t feel it was his concern. I thought well when renters start calling his office he might be concerned.


  11. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    As I read it, the Department of Public Health can issue the Governors executive order.


  12. - fs - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    == Isn’t IDPH part of the Executive branch, reporting to the Governor?==

    It is, but he hasn’t been issuing these orders through authority granted to public health. He’s been basing them around emergency authority through iema, which only lasts 30 days. Hence why the court declared them void after April 8, which was 30 days after his first emergency declaration.


  13. - Huh? - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:46 am:

    fs - The issue surrounding whether Pritzker can issue more than 1 disaster declarations has been thoroughly discussed, hashed out and rehashed on this blog. The law is silent on this issue. There is nothing that says Pritzker can’t issue more than 1 disaster declaration. He is within his powers to do so.


  14. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:47 am:

    ==Hence why the court declared them void after April 8, which was 30 days after his first emergency declaration==

    Other Circuit Courts have said those orders are valid. So why is the Clay County order more important than those court orders?


  15. - fs - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 1:24 pm:

    == There is nothing that says Pritzker can’t issue more than 1 disaster declaration.==

    You mean except for the ruling in Clay County on Thursday, which is the point of discussion for this point.


  16. - M - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 1:24 pm:

    Does the judgement only apply to Clay County or the entire state of IL?


  17. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    It applies for about fifteen infamous minutes…New York ones.


  18. - Huh? - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    “You mean except for the ruling in Clay County on Thursday, which is the point of discussion for this point.”

    So beetle’s lawyer got a pet judge to rule in his favor, which conflicts with other rulings in circuit and federal courts, including SCOTUS. Which am I going to consider… hmmmm … Gotta go with the courts that ruled in favor of Pritzker.

    That eastern blockhead court doesn’t make very good decisions about constitutional rights for fishing during a public health crisis.


  19. - fs - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 2:36 pm:

    == So beetle’s lawyer got a pet judge to rule in his favor, which conflicts with other rulings in circuit and federal courts, including SCOTUS. Which am I going to consider… hmmmm … Gotta go with the courts that ruled in favor of Pritzker.

    That eastern blockhead court doesn’t make very good decisions about constitutional rights for fishing during a public health crisis.==

    I suggest going back and reading what I was responding to initially that you for some reason decided to jump all over. An argument was being raised that since public health had authority to do it, that the judges opinion notes, then the executive orders were kosher. I’m not saying whether the judge was right or wrong, but only that whether public health could do it was really irrelevant under the judge’s reasoning, since the executive order didn’t rely on public health’s authority, but instead solely relies on emergency powers under iema. If the Governor’s office has based part of their authority on that given to public health, instead of iema, it wouldn’t have given the judge that argument to use.


  20. - Huh? - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:08 pm:

    fs - you need to read 20 ILCS 3305 Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act. Public health disaster declarations are allowed under the law.


  21. - Nope18 - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Bailey sure doesn’t mind Emergency Declarations when in pertains to his farm ground and flooding. He praised Pritzker when he extended extended it in 2019 for like 9 months. He doesn’t mind government handouts in the form of farm subsidies in which his father, all of his sons, himself, and his wife get every year for the same land with different addresses listed. His and his father’s address for subsidies is the exact same place, they just call the road by a different name. He doesn’t mind enforcing a strict uniform policy at his school or taking away personal property, such as cell phones, at his summer camp. But wearing a mask and and limiting inside customers is an overreach? He claims he did this for his constituents and their livelihoods, but doesn’t care if they are homeless? What a giant hypocrite.


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