A presumed final hearing in the Clay County Circuit Court regarding a lawsuit by State Representative Darren Bailey against Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker over his executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to take place Friday afternoon.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office, representing Pritzker, has filed a motion to dismiss count one of Bailey’s lawsuit, which argues that COVID-19 did not act as the “trigger” for Pritzker to enact each of his executive orders beyond the initial order made on March 9. Instead, Bailey’s attorney Thomas DeVore claims that it was the expiration of each 30-day limit of the orders that causes the governor to issue a new proclamation and claim emergency powers for an additional 30 days.

Clay County Circuit Judge Michael McHaney granted summary judgement in favor of Bailey on counts two and three of the suit, which argued the governor did not have the authority to claim emergency powers for longer than 30 days for a given disaster and that the governor does not have the authority to restrict the movement of residents and close businesses even with emergency powers, respectively, in a hearing in Clay County on Thursday, July 2. While Judge McHaney denied awarding Bailey summary judgement on count one at that same hearing, he requested that Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Thomas Verticchio submit a written filing for summary judgement before making a final decision on the count.

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