Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders pertaining to COVID-19 are no longer valid for residents of Illinois, following a ruling in favor of Darren Bailey in his lawsuit against Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker Thursday afternoon.
Clay County Circuit Judge Michael McHaney ruled in favor of two of the three counts made in the lawsuit, voiding the governor’s ability to issue executive orders placing limitations on businesses and restricting the movement of residents, pending appeal.
During his ruling, the Clay County Circuit judge took issue with one particular aspect of the Attorney General’s Office’s filing throughout the proceedings of the lawsuit; their claim that due process is “flexible.”
“Hell will freeze before this court rules that due process is flexible,” said Judge McHaney, “This is absolute power, and it is unconstitutional.”
McHaney also ruled that the nullification of Pritzker’s executive orders would also apply to “all citizens commonly situated,” allowing it to apply to all Illinoisans.
The state representative expressed his approval of the ruling on the steps of the Clay County Courthouse after the hearing.
“Today’s ruling is about accountability,” Bailey explained. “This judge held our governor accountable.”
Bailey also stated that Pritzker cannot be allowed to continue overstepping his authority.
“We can’t let this happen anymore.”
So what does this ruling mean for Illinois residents and businesses?
“The practical effect of that today is that any executive in effect right now that relates to COVID-19 is invalid and void, and does not apply to anybody in the state of Illinois,” said Thomas DeVore, attorney for Bailey. “One of the biggest ones that a hear about in my office is the limitations that have been placed on bars and restaurants, and businesses like that.
“As of right now, there is no limitation.”
DeVore also noted that while the governor could request a stay on the enforcement of Judge McHaney’s ruling in the appellate court, his understanding of the law is that they would have had to request that stay in the Clay County Circuit Court first. They did not, which DeVore believes will prevent the governor from being granted such a stay prior to the appeal hearing.
For more detailed coverage of this hearing, check out next week’s Navigator.