SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A downstate judge on Thursday declared Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders void.
Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney ruled that state law does not allow governors to extend disaster proclamations for more than 30 days.
Pritzker first declared a statewide disaster back on March 9, and has since issued extensions every 30 days.
The decision stemmed from a lawsuit filed by state Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia).
Bailey’s amended lawsuit argued a 2001 memo from then-Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan undercuts the governor’s stance that state law allows him to issue successive proclamations for the same disaster.
In that memo, Ryan responded to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s questions about whether the governor could exercise emergency powers beyond 30 days after a disaster declaration for an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
“The governor would be required to seek legislative approval for the exercise of extraordinary measures extending beyond 30 days,” Ryan wrote in the memo.
It was unclear Thursday night what the ruling meant for reopening phases. But the Governor’s office has gone on record in published reports that Phase 4 restrictions remain in effect and the ruling will not require state agencies to change their operation.
The state is also expected to appeal.