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Illinois Supreme Court finally issues face mask order

Thursday, Aug 27, 2020

* Illinois Supreme Court order

In the exercise of the general administrative and supervisory authority over the courts of Illinois conferred on this Court pursuant to article VI, section 16, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, sec. 16); in view of the state of emergency that has been declared by the Governor of the State of Illinois in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus; and in the interests of the health and safety of all court users, staff, and judicial officers during these extraordinary circumstances, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that subpart F of the Court’s March 17, 2020 order is rescinded and reserved, and this order is adopted as follows:

F. Individuals, including judges, court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors and witnesses, should not enter any courthouse if they

    1. are not wearing a mask or face covering;
    2. have new flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath (excluding such symptoms caused by chronic conditions);
    3. currently have been directed to quarantine or isolate at home by any medical provider or public health official; or
    4. reside or have regular close contact with a person currently subject to a quarantine or isolation direction issued by a medical provider or public health official.

Masks or face coverings should be worn at all times while in the courthouse unless the person is (1) otherwise instructed by court personnel; (2) under the age of 2; or (3) incapacitated, having trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. If available, masks should be provided to individuals who do not have them.

If a touchless/contactless thermometer is available, a temperature check as individuals enter the courthouse should be considered. Individuals with a temperature that is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher should not enter any courthouse.

All courts should implement procedures for when an individual is denied entry based on the above.

The earlier order did not mention face masks.

Woulda been nice to have that order in place during those insane and mostly maskless Clay County hearings. Just sayin…

…Adding… From comments…

Kinda tips their hand on whether the Governor has the authority to issue successive emergency declarations when the Supremes cite to the declaration in an administrative order.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 3:50 pm:

    A day late …and thousands of lives/millions of dollars in medical costs short.


  2. - Downstate hick - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    Kinda tips their hand on whether the Governor has the authority to issue successive emergency declarations when the Supremes cite to the declaration in an administrative order.


  3. - Norseman - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    Awkward for all those unhelpful (to put it mildly to avoid the banned words I wanted to use) sheriffs who didn’t want to get involved.


  4. - Socially DIstant watcher - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:02 pm:

    @Downstate: different lines of authority could result in different outcomes if the Court hears a challenge


  5. - Wensicia - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:08 pm:

    Game, set, and match.


  6. - I am Batman - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:13 pm:

    I kinda suspect the S Ct would uphold a mask requirement, but not based on this. The S Ct (more so than the legislature or governor) controls what happens in courthouses. They’re authority is considered inherent and almost absolute. A general mask mandate is a different kettle of fish entirely. So, yeah I think they’d uphold a mask requirement, but not because of this.


  7. - I am Batman - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:14 pm:

    *their (not they’re)


  8. - Club J - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:24 pm:

    Well I’m sure this will call for another DeVore Facebook live event to challenge him being made to wear a mask in Clay County.


  9. - truthtopower - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    Kinda tips their hand on whether the Governor has the authority to issue successive emergency declarations when the Supremes cite to the declaration in an administrative order.

    Not at all. Supreme Court’s authority to control the courts has nothing to do with Governor’s power to issue executive orders.


  10. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:47 pm:

    - has nothing to do with Governor’s power to issue executive orders. -

    You must have gotten your JD at Harvard.

    The point is they acknowledged the emergency declaration, which might lead thinking people to suspect they agree that the declaration was legal.

    Got that, Matlock?


  11. - The Velour Nail - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    Perhaps the Illinois Supreme Court can take some next steps into the 21st Century by modernizing our courts’ electronic system in a unified and coherent manner. While each Illinois county elects a circuit clerk, it is somewhat sad that many other states (our neighbors included) have unified electronic systems while we’re still using archaic software and carbon paper.


  12. - Stu - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    ===Well I’m sure this will call for another DeVore Facebook live event to challenge him being made to wear a mask in Clay County.===

    I’m sure his buddy Judge McHaney will invoke this clause:
    “Masks or face coverings should be worn at all times while in the courthouse unless the person is (1) otherwise instructed by court personnel;”


  13. - Larry Saunders - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 6:14 pm:

    IL courts have been unacceptably slow overall to adapt to accommodate the current situation of IL prisoners with respect to maintaining legal access for them during Covid. Many thousands of state prisoners have generally been locked down in their cells with little to no access to law libraries, nortaries or even commissary to buy pens and paper this whole Covid time and find it hard to communicate with anyone on the outside. The Il Supreme Court extended their pro se filing deadlines by 30 - 60 days at the outset of Covid but those deadlines are not being further extended. Instead, prisoners unable to get their filings to the court for matters such as post-conviction will be left to plead on their own for individual consideration when they can file.


  14. - Huh? - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 7:15 pm:

    coulda, shoulda, woulda.

    Have had endless discussions with my lawyers about the terms “shall”, “should” and “may”.

    Civil engineering has clear definitions of these terms ranging from mandatory to advisory.

    The ILSC is too flimsy to be enforceable. It allows covidiots such as in clay county to defy the order with the statement “… Masks … should be worn … unless the person is (1) otherwise instructed by court personnel; …”


  15. - Ferris Bueller - Thursday, Aug 27, 20 @ 9:25 pm:

    -A day late …and thousands of lives/millions of dollars in medical costs short.

    Um, not really the courts have been largely closed since all of this has started (remote court calls on most cases, no juries, etc). So while it is a prudent order with some opening back up, thousands of people have not died going to court.


  16. - Red Ketcher - Friday, Aug 28, 20 @ 8:48 am:

    “should” as an operative word ?


  17. - Will Rez - Friday, Aug 28, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    Masks and social distancing have been the case in the courthouse I work in since the Governor’s first order back in March.


  18. - Eastern Bloc Mitigation - Friday, Aug 28, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    Speaking of the Clay County Courthouse, rumor has it that Judge McHaney’s bailiff is currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Local folks also say it’s well known that the owners of a popular BBQ restaurant in town were both sick with the virus but didn’t tell anyone and continued interacting with customers daily. Finally, word is that when Bailey followers fall ill with covid symptoms, they refuse to get tested and refuse to quarantine because they interpret Bailey’s FB videos as instructions to that affect.


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