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Justice Dept. supports downstate lawmaker’s lawsuit against Illinois stay-at-home order

CHICAGO (WLS) — The Department of Justice issued a statement of interest in support of a downstate lawmaker’s lawsuit against Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order Friday afternoon.

In his lawsuit, state Representative Darren Bailey alleged that Pritzker’s actions were unlawful because the stay-at-home order extended beyond the 30-day time period imposed by the legislature.

“However well-intentioned they may be, the executive orders appear to reach far beyond the scope of the 30-day emergency authority granted to the Governor under Illinois law,” said Steven D. Weinhoeft, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois in a statement. “Even during times of crisis, executive actions undertaken in the name of public safety must be lawful. And while the people of Illinois must be physically protected from the effects of this public health crisis, including by complying with CDC guidelines their constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties must be safeguarded as well.”

Although Bailey’s lawsuit does not raise any federal constitutional claims, the statement explained, “It is up to the Illinois courts to rule on Plaintiff’s claims, which, because of the sweeping nature of the Orders, may affect millions of lives and raise significant constitutional concerns in other litigation.”

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Source: ABC7 Chicago

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