WIUM Tristates Public Radio

So. IL Judge Sides With State GOP Rep In Executive Power Lawsuit

Apr 27, 2020
Originally published on April 27, 2020 7:03 pm

A Clay County judge is lifting Illinois' extended stay-at-home order for a single state representative.

Judge Michael McHaney issued a temporary restraining order after state Rep. Darren Bailey (R, Xenia) sued over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive action. Bailey is also seeking damages he claims to have sustained while having been ordered to stay home.

The state maintains the restrictions combat the spread of the new coronavirus. Pritzker announced plans last week to extend the stay at home order through the end of May, which was set to expire April 30.

Bailey, meanwhile, alleged in a lawsuit that the governor cannot continue to use emergency powers without consent of the legislature.

Pritzker condemned the decision during a Monday press briefing.

"[It's] 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 [Bailey's] recklessness," Pritzker said.

In a press conference last week, Bailey said his civil liberties were threatened.

“When this happens, it’s one event at a time that slowly strips this away,” Bailey said.

In a video WCIA reporter Mark Maxwell posted to Twitter, Bailey addressed reporters outside the courthouse Monday.

“When our constitution comes under attack, when it is ignored, when we as citizens fail to understand and know the truth, and don’t look for it, then our liberties are threatened, and that’s how I felt from day one,” he said.

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan called the lawsuit “reckless” and said he hopes the decision is reversed. Meanwhile, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said the caucus will be closely watching the suit as it unfolds.

Senate President Don Harmon “appealed to common sense” in his own response to the decision.

“This virus isn’t paying attention to judicial orders. Please, be patient, recognize the dangers and keep following the advice of our medical professionals and public health experts,” Harmon said in a statement.

An appeal hearing is reportedly scheduled for next week.

Copyright 2020 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.