Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow ruled in favor of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s ability to extend executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic yesterday. Grischow dismissed 6 lawsuits filed by various plaintiffs across the state that involve attorney Thomas DeVore. Grischow also ruled against Xenia Republican Representative Darren Bailey’s attempt to amend his lawsuit against the governor.
The plaintiffs had asked the judge to rule that no public health emergency exists in their respective counties to warrant Governor Pritzker’s use of executive orders. They also asked the judge to enjoin the government from exercising his emergency powers in their counties of Edgar, Sangamon, Bond, Richland, Clinton, and Adams. The plaintiffs objections arise out of sections of Illinois’ Emergency Management Act saying that the current evidence on record does not constitute a public health emergency because they believe there is no evidence of a large number of deaths in the affected population, a large number of serious or long-term disabilities in the affected population; or widespread exposure to an infectious or toxic agent that poses a significant risk of substantial future harm to a large number of people in the affected population.
Grischow argues that the plaintiffs complaints were “devoid of facts” to support their conclusions. “The Court,” she wrote, “cautions counsel to fully set forth facts to support the conclusions.” Grischow did write that a legitimate cause of action may actually exist, so she allowed the plaintiffs to file again based on the actual law “in an effort to have the issues properly framed” for the court. Grischow informed Bailey he could file a new amended motion as long as it complied with the directions she gave to the other plaintiffs. The plaintiffs now have 21 days to answer the court, and then the Governor’s Office will be allowed 21 days to answer before it can be heard again.