Governor J.B. Pritzker’s extension of the stay-at-home order on May 1st has been hit with a temporary restraining order. Clay County Circuit Judge Michael McHaney overturned the extension today in court as a part of Xenia State Representative Darren Bailey’s lawsuit against the governor.
Pritzker was met with the news during his daily COVID-19 press conference question and answer session. Pritzker says the ruling puts all of Illinois at risk: “I have affirmed many times over that Republicans and Democrats alike, public servants from all corners of Illinois have come together since the earliest days of this public health crisis to make incredibly difficult choices. Understanding, that painful as our actions might be, the question boils down to life and death. COVID-19 is responsible for denying the people of Illinois the precious moments of togetherness and steadiness of routine that have been put on pause in response to this global pandemic. The stay at home order has prevented 10s of thousands of illnesses and thousands of deaths. Representative Darren Bailey’s decision to take to the courts to try and dismantle public health directives designed to keep people safe is an insult to all Illinoisans who have been lost during this COVID-19 crisis; and it’s a danger to millions of people who may get ill, because of his recklessness. At best, no one is better off because of this ruling and at worst, people’s health and safety will suffer tremendously. In Illinois and nationally, we are operating on decades of precedent in terms of how disaster proclamations work from floods to tornadoes and now a global pandemic. Disasters don’t necessarily evaporate on a 30-day time frame. In the interim, we will be issuing new public health directives so that we can continue to respond to this public health crisis. At this time, I strongly encourage all municipal level leaders, as well as the people of Illinois, who are our strongest weapon against this virus to follow the advice of our scientists here in Illinois and across the nation – of IDPH and the CDC, and continue to follow the guidelines of our stay at home order. This ruling has put the people of Illinois at risk. I sincerely hope that this matter will be brought to a swift resolution so that we can go back to placing our undivided attention on the work of keeping people safe.”
According to WCIA’s Mark Maxwell says that Bailey has filed as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, so he is the only Illinois citizen released from the governor’s order. However, others can join suit or file separate lawsuits in different portions of the state. Judge Michael McHaney said during proceedings that he wanted examples like other states that never shut down. McHaney said that the executive order shredded the Illinois Constitution and the order violated his “constitutional right to work, to travel, to exist” during proceedings today. WLDS News will provide more information on Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s appeal on the ruling as it becomes available.