Clay County Chief Circuit Judge Michael D. McHaney ruled in favor of State Rep. Darren Bailey’s challenge to Governor J.B. Pritizker’s statewide ‘stay at home’ order during a Monday court hearing, granting Bailey a temporary restraining order that only covers the Representative. However, Bailey says he will continue to push the issue and hold the Governor responsible to the public health laws already on the books.
“Our governor has acted as if he knows best, but he does not know what’s best for all 12 million residents in our state,” said Bailey (R-Xenia). “We have a mechanism in place through the Illinois Department of Public Health; and how to act during a pandemic was laid out many years ago, long before J.B. Pritzker came to office. I’ve asked him since day one to respect local governments throughout the state and he’s refused, but I believe this lawsuit is the mechanism by which ‘we the people’ will be allowed to govern ourselves as our constitution demands.”
Bailey’s attorney Tom DeVore said Illinois has had a pandemic/influenza response plan in place for many years, a plan approved by the Illinois legislature, that is a 120-page guide that covers the current COVID-19 situation.
“It’s called the state of Illinois Department of Public Health Pandemic/Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan,” said DeVore. “It’s a law promulgated by the legislative branch that lays out how the Department of Public Health is to manage these types of pandemics. It’s very detailed. It’s working now. I’ve talked to my county health department and they use this plan now. It’s very effective and more importantly it contains due process within the law for individuals pertaining to a quarantine.”
“The comments by Judge McHaney make it clear in my opinion that the governor or the legislative leaders could have called us back into session to debate and clarify the emergency powers, but they have not done so. The U.S. Congress has met using common sense distancing and even local city councils and county boards have been meeting with the use of technology like Zoom. The only other option at this point to ensure the checks and balances of power in Illinois are through the courts,” added Bailey.
Bailey argued that under state law, Pritzker could not extend his first executive order beyond 30 days. Another court hearing on a permanent injunction is expected within 30 days.