Pritzker blasts GOP legislator's lawsuit, saying downstate isn't immune from virus

Governor vows appeal

Pritzker blasts GOP rep’s lawsuit, says two downstate counties have highest death rates
Appeal coming as judge grants Rep. Bailey temporary restraining order for stay-at-home order
By JERRY NOWICKI, Capitol News Illinois
Gov. JB Pritzker urged southern Illinoisans to continue to comply with a stay-at-home order and named a pair of counties where the rate of those killed by the virus is higher than in Cook
County.

As he was speaking at his daily briefing Monday in Chicago, however, a Clay County judge was ruling against his authority to implement such an order.

When told by reporters that the judge had ruled against his stay-at-home order, Pritzker blasted Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, who filed the lawsuit challenging it.


“People are in danger as a result of this ruling, of the judge’s ruling on the suit that was brought by Darren Bailey,” Pritzker said. “We certainly are going to act in a swift fashion to try to have this ruling overturned, certainly put a stay in place.”

The lawsuit, and therefore the judge’s order, applies specifically to Bailey, who asserted that Illinois law grants the governor emergency authority for a period of 30 days, not to be extended.
Pritzker first declared disaster on March 9, and has since extended the declaration and his stay-at-home order through May 30.

Pritzker has said extensions of disaster declarations are common, and he did so in response to flooding last year.

The Effingham Daily News reported that while Bailey is the only person freed from the stay-at-home order under the lawsuit, his attorney, Thomas DeVore, told the newspaper the decision
opens the door for others who disagree with the governor’s action to sue.


While Pritzker has called the suit “political,” Bailey said in a news release he filed the lawsuit “on behalf of myself and my constituents who are ready to go back to work and resume a normal
life.”

The governor said the attorney general’s office is handling the appeal process.

“My team and I will fight this legal battle to the furthest extent possible, to ensure the public health and common sense and that those prevail,” Pritzker said. “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.”

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