CHICAGO (CBS) — A downstate judge who has said “the Bill of Rights is being shredded” every moment of the stay-at-home order in Illinois is scheduled to hold a hearing Friday afternoon on a new lawsuit seeking to block Gov. JB Pritzker’s order statewide.
The lawsuit, filed in Clay County by Iraq War veteran James Mainer and his business, HCL Deluxe Tan, seeks a temporary restraining order on behalf of all citizens and businesses in Illinois. A hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday before Judge Michael McHaney, the same judge who granted Illinois State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) a restraining order exempting him from the stay-at-home order, until it was lifted at Bailey’s request.
McHaney has sent clear signals he’s opposed to the governor’s order.
“Every second this Executive Order is in existence, the Illinois Constitution, numerous sections of it are being violated and the Bill of Rights is being shredded,” McHaney said when he granted Bailey’s restraining order.
Like Bailey’s lawsuit, Mainer is challenging the governor’s authority to extend his stay-at-home order beyond the first 30 days of his original disaster proclamation.
While Bailey’s original lawsuit sought only to exempt himself from the order, he has since amended that lawsuit to seek an order invalidating the governor’s stay-at-home mandate statewide.
On Thursday, the governor’s office moved to send Bailey’s lawsuit to federal court, avoiding a hearing that had been scheduled for Friday afternoon, when McHaney had indicated he would issue a final ruling. Just hours after that maneuver, Mainer filed his lawsuit against Pritzker, and another hearing was scheduled in McHaney’s courtroom.
Pritzker’s office and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, which is representing him, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Mainer’s lawsuit, but the governor has repeatedly contended state law allows him to issue successive proclamations for the same disaster.
“The Attorney General’s office will continue to defend the governor’s constitutional and statutory right to act to protect the health and safety of all Illinois residents,” Raoul’s office said after moving Bailey’s lawsuit to federal court.
Pritzker has successfully moved several other lawsuits challenging his stay-at-home order from state courts to federal courts, and at least two federal judges have sided with the governor in lawsuits filed by churches seeking to fully reopen. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also recently ruled the order ” does not discriminate against religious activities, nor does it show hostility toward religion” in denying a Chicago church’s request for an emergency injunction while it appeals its case.