Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Another day, another lawsuit: “The mandates are being thrust upon [plaintiff’s] minor child for no other reason than the general purpose of trying to prevent the spread of an infectious disease”
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Another day, another lawsuit: “The mandates are being thrust upon [plaintiff’s] minor child for no other reason than the general purpose of trying to prevent the spread of an infectious disease”

Friday, Jul 10, 2020

* Quincy Herald-Whig

A Quincy woman has filed suit against the Quincy School Board over requiring face masks and temperature checks for her child to attend school.

Roni Quinn seeks an injunction barring the School Board from enforcing the mandates against her child, a fourth-grader attending Quincy Public Schools, and says the board overstepped its authority in issuing the requirements.

A hearing is set for 11 a.m. Thursday in Adams County Court. […]

“This is about our children’s right to an education and allowing decisions such as these to be left to the parents not our government/local officials,” Quinn said in a post on the Re-Open Adams County Illinois Facebook page.

“If you want to send your child to school in a mask, by all means you have that right. As it stands right now, no one has the right to choose to send their child to school without a mask. That is not ok. These rights belong to the parents.”


In the lawsuit filed Friday morning, Quinn alleges that she, and her child, will suffer irreparable injuries based on the implementation of the mask and temperature check mandates because they infringe on the child’s right to an in-person education within the public school.

Quinn’s lawsuit goes on to allege that the mandates are not lawful as they were not implemented by legislature.

Quinn states that the requirement of a face mask to be admitted to a public school building is beyond the board’s authority or otherwise in violation of Illinois law.

Quinn is being represented by attorney Thomas DeVore, who recently filed a lawsuit against Gov. JB Pritzker accusing him of abusing his emergency powers with his Stay-at-Home order.

Click here and scroll down to read the lawsuit.

* Meanwhile, here’s some background on our next story. From May

A judge on Thursday sided against an Illinois organization that claimed restrictions implemented to combat the novel coronavirus made it impossible to gather the necessary signatures to place a constitutional amendment on November’s general election ballot. […]

The Committee for the Illinois Democracy Amendment is advocating for a constitutional change that would obligate the General Assembly to take roll call votes on bills proposing “stronger ethical standards for Illinois public officials.”

It would also allow residents to propose related bills by submitting a petition with at least 100,000 signatures.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn is one of the lawyers in the case.

* The plaintiffs appealed and lost this week. From the decision

One important question, when a plaintiff seeks emergency relief, is whether the plaintiff has brought the emergency on himself. The district judge concluded that Morgan had done so. During most of the time available to seek signatures, Morgan did absolutely nothing. He did not evince any interest in the subject until early April 2020, several weeks after the Governor began to issue orders requiring social distancing. The other plaintiffs did not do anything of substance until the suit was on file. Plaintiffs had plenty of time to gather signatures before the pandemic began. That’s a good reason to conclude that they are not entitled to emergency relief.

We add that plaintiffs also have not established that the Governor’s orders limit their speech. The orders concern conduct (social distancing), not what anyone may write or say. Orders regulating conduct often have incidental effects on speech, but this does not require courts to treat them as if they were regulations of speech. See, e.g., Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence, 468 U.S. 288 (1984). Plaintiffs do not question the propriety of those orders. Cf. Jacobson v. Massachuse=s, 197 U.S. 11 (1905); Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church v. PriJker, No. 20-1811 (7th Cir. June 16, 2020). Although the orders surely make it hard to round up signatures, so would the reluctance of many people to approach strangers during a pandemic.

One more consideration bears emphasis. The federal Constitution does not require any state or local government to put referenda or initiatives on the ballot. That is wholly a mafer of state law. If we understand the Governor’s orders, coupled with the signature requirements, as equivalent to a decision to skip all referenda for the 2020 election cycle, there is no federal problem. Illinois may decide for itself whether a pandemic is a good time to be soliciting signatures on the streets in order to add referenda to a ballot.

The order denying the motion for a preliminary injunc- tion is affirmed. The plaintiffs remain free to contend to the district court that a permanent injunction would be justified if social-distancing rules are indefinitely extended, but that long-term question does not require immediate resolution.

…Adding… Rebecca Anzel has more on the decision

Former Gov. Pat Quinn, an attorney representing the committee, said in an interview Friday he and his clients are “disappointed.”

They brought this lawsuit, he said, because “it’s impossible” to comply with state law mandating petitions be circulated in person and with the governor’s social distancing order.

“The state should not be allowed to try to cancel out the rights of voters to circulate petitions to put issues on the ballot,” Quinn said. “It makes the whole process very dangerous. We’re going to keep fighting.”

Their options, he said, include appealing the decision — the committee is “free” to pursue the issues in this case in a district court, the judges wrote in their ruling — or attempting to change the law “so voters have the option to sign petitions electronically during the pandemic, which is not going away.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    -The mandates are being thrust upon [plaintiff’s] minor child for no other reason than the general purpose of trying to prevent the spread of an infectious disease-

    Other side: Your Honor, they just made my case for me.

    “As it stands right now, no one has the right to choose to send their child to school without a mask. That is not ok. These rights belong to the parents.”

    You can’t send your child to school naked. You can’t send them to school with weapons. You can’t send them to school (in most cases) without immunizations. Why? Health and safety reasons. Parents retain some authority but the schools gain authority over the child once the child sets foot on school property.

  2. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    One way to gather tax revenue to help defer the cost of COVID would be to put a surtax on lawyers filing lawsuits opposing containment efforts. /s

    Talk about making money from a tragedy. The American way.

  3. - Sensitive Nancy - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 1:58 pm:

    If these troubled parents wish to keep their children home from school, or if they wish to send them to a private school like Mr. Bailey’s, they are free to do so.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    When you use your child to value shame and possibly infect their teacher, classmates, anyone in the school “because ‘Merica”…

    … I feel terrible for the child.

  5. - Live Wire - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    I feel for the child too, everyone knows who s/he is. The playground can be a tough place.

  6. - Frank talks - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:06 pm:

    After watching an airborne illness sweep through a veterans home in Quincy you’d think folks in that town would have some common sense about spread of disease and how to mitigate? I’m guessing masks could have helped reduce some spread there once the first case hit? As well as quarantine, testing for symptoms etc?

    Am I missing something? It literally happened in your own town.

  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    ===Am I missing something?===


  8. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    I have so many questions…

    If your kid has a fever and the school determines that you need to go pick your kid up, is that unconstitutional? Using the logic of this lawsuit anything the school would do to determine someone is sick or injured would be unconstitutional if it then prevented them from being to attend school?
    Would doing a concussion screening be unconstitutional for an injured student-athlete to be unconstitutional since it could prevent them from participating?

    If a kid has chickenpox and shows up to school, the school is required to let the kid attend?

    If nothing else ‘preventing the spread of an infectious disease’ seems like a legitimate goal.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    Excellent point to the issue, when referencing geography and the Quincy Veterans Home.

    That child will now be seen as the person who’s parents are willing to infect so many people, not just anyone in and around the school, but what students might bring home.

    The politicizing of masks and the cult of Trump coalescing to make a point, which they think is freedom, but in reality it’s forcing unhealthy places for society and forcing more tough choices as the virus continues.

    Seriously, I feel for the child…

    … parents using children as political signaling tools are not seeing the best interest of society or child… at all.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    Last thing;

    I’d ask Roni Quinn…

    Did you send your child to preschool, did you complain when it was required for all day preschool that the child be potty trained?

    Why or why not?

  11. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:25 pm:

    This may have been covered on CapFax already but I am amused that this law firm is going all over the state suing Pritzker’s admin while DeVore’s co-counsel on the lawsuit touts on their website his extensive experience working for Hyatt hotels.

    Anyway to the lawsuit itself…

    I am fascinated by the line that says (without any citation) that “health regulations which merely tend to prevent the spread of an infectious disease are unlawful”.

    Good to know Tom DeVore seeks to not only invalidate mask mandates but every food safety reform implemented since “The Jungle” was printed.

  12. - illinifan - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:26 pm:

    Okay, don’t wear a mask but instead provide daily certification that the child is COVID free. My goodness, this virus has affected the brain function of some people.It is just a mask. Children can handle it.

  13. - Skeptic - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:33 pm:

    It’s my right as a parent to demand my school take all reasonable precautions to make sure my child is safe. The demands of [plaintiff] are being thrust upon my minor child for no other reason than to make a political point.

  14. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    The Quincy suit has not a single legal leg to stand on. Schools have been able to institute dress codes and that has been supported by courts for decades.

    As it pertains to schools, students rights have been limited in many areas due to the prevailing responsibility to protect children. Limitations to both the 1st and 4th Amendments Rights for students in schools is substantial due to safety issues and our duty to protect.

    It appears that DeVore does not read much school case law.

  15. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:46 pm:

    “… health regulations which merely tend to prevent the spread of an infectious disease are unlawful.”

    That is thisclose to anti-vaxxer talking points.

  16. - Huh? - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    “It appears that DeVore does not read much school case law.”

    The rationale seems to be that if someone whats to pay to file a frivolous lawsuit, devore will file the paperwork anywhere in the State. Drive time and mileage pads the billable hours. Will bet that devore gets a sizable portion of the fee up front, regardless of the outcome of the case. Appeals are extra.

  17. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    makes you wonder why some people are parents.

  18. - Huh? - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 2:55 pm:

    Where is a TNG Picard face palm picture when we need it. Oh here it is

  19. - Just Wondering - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:01 pm:

    Is there a point when a judge or someone will bring these frivolous lawsuits of Mr. DeVore’s in front of the Law Bar Association and have his license pulled? I’m beginning to think this guy would sue his grandmother if she voted for Pritzker.

  20. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:02 pm:

    The plaintiff alleges that the child has rights which it’s the parents prerogative to exercise.

    This constant appeal to rights has puzzled me for a long time. Whenever someone feels put upon, they seem immediately to claim rights to do or not be made to do something. But almost never does anyone justify their claim by identifying the source of the rights claimed. A partial exception to this is people claiming free speech, which is surely a vital right, except that most people get it wrong (e.g., they wrongly think it applies to private property or they confuse it with the right to peaceably assemble).

    For the most part, “It’s my right!” seems like a knee jerk reaction to anything somebody doesn’t like, with no little or no effort actually to defend their claim. A lot of anger is generated over such claims and perceived threats to unsubstantiated rights claims. That anger isn’t helpful in times like these.

    Just one more thing I guess I don’t understand.

  21. - Demoralized - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    Mr. Devore and his ilk are just as dangerous, if not more, than the virus. He and those who think like him have got to me some of the absolute most irresponsible and selfish people on the face of the Earth.

  22. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    There are literally thousands of good people out there who would be happy to give Roni’s child a home in which to he child won’t be used to make a political point.

  23. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    -Is there a point when a judge or someone will bring these frivolous lawsuits of Mr. DeVore’s in front of the Law Bar Association and have his license pulled? I’m beginning to think this guy would sue his grandmother if she voted for Pritzker.-

    I may not like what he is doing, but I haven’t seen any court find the cases frivolous yet. Judges can refer counsel’s actions to the ARDC if they think the cases have no merit whatsoever and are designed merely to harass. Even then disbarring someone is not really in the range of penalties for such an offense.

  24. - White Dynamite - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    Wait- what? Roni Quinn is a kidney dialysis tech at Blessing Hospital? That doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

  25. - Retired and still in Illinois - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    I assume DeVore and his supporters would just as strenuously defend a parents/students right to choose which bathroom to use or sports gender to compete? Both of which pose no danger to anyone else, unlike potential exposure to a communicable disease. s/

  26. - Sal - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    Why would this woman NOT want to protect her child? I just don’t understand.

  27. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    @White Dynamite - not sure if that is still the case. a linkedin page for a roni quinn has her listed as a medical office administrator somewhere else in quincy and -ironically- a recent graduate of an online university.

    As far as Mr. Devore’s work, I do not see anything he has done as indicative of something that would get a law license pulled unless there is some kind of prohibition against crowd-funded lawsuits (roni quinn has a gofundme page for her legal expenses). i think that is allowed though.

  28. - Gooner - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    I assumed she was pro se.

    I cannot believe that lawyers took the case.

    “Counsel, you may want to glance at Rule 137.”

    The nice thing is that the Court can sanction both the lawyers and the client.

    This is so obviously frivolous that both should pay.

  29. - Pundent - Friday, Jul 10, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    Whether Devore wins or loses (which he ultimately will) he is succeeding in accomplishing his objective of undermining our efforts to govern and prevent unnecessary deaths in the face of a global pandemic. Their should be legal consequences for that.

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