An Illinois Judge has blocked the governor’s wide-ranging stay at home and state of emergency executive order, claiming that Governor J.B. Pritzker has overstepped his authority in seeking to extend the state’s existing coronavirus emergency order for more than 30 days.
Clay County Circuit Judge Michael McHaney issued a temporary restraining order blocking Pritzker’s extension of his initial April 2nd state of emergency order on Tuesday. State law gives the Illinois governor authority to implement a 30-day state of emergency, but Pritzker was seeking to extend the existing emergency to a period of 37 days, stretching into May.
McHaney ruled as a result of a lawsuit filed by Republican state representative Darren Bailey. Bailey’s lawsuit applies purely to the state of emergency restrictions as they pertain to the Xenia lawmaker himself, but the ruling sets up precedent for a wide variety of Illinois litigants to challenge Pritzker’s emergency order in the court system.
Pritzker is resolving to appeal and overturn McHaney’s ruling as soon as possible, expressing confidence that his extension of the state of emergency will be upheld in statewide courts.
Illinois has incurred a grand total of approximately 46,000 coronavirus cases as of Monday, and 50 people died of the disease in the state the same day. State Republicans are accusing Pritzker of utilizing the pandemic to advance a prison break agenda, having released 1,300 prison inmates since the beginning of the emergency.
Pritzker has a strong chance of reinstating his bonus emergency powers in the Democratic-controlled state judiciary, but the ruling could place additional pressure on the governor to prepare an exit plan for the state.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: It’s Time to Cancel “Everything”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sternly instructed residents of his city to cease all outgoing activities of everyday life, citing the county’s dismal coronavirus prospects, which he states are worse than what the nation’s second-largest city faced in March.
“It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything. If it isn’t essential, don’t do it.”
Los Angeles County officials enacted a full coronavirus shutdown for three weeks last week, strictly limiting permissible activities and placing the county in a lockdown similar to those utilized across the country at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are spiking, and county officials are concerned the city’s medical system is unprepared to accommodate a surge in coronavirus cases similar to that seen in New York earlier in the year.
Black Lives Matter protestors have staged nightly protests outside of Garcetti’s house demanding special privileges for individuals charged with felonies. However, the Mayor’s emergency order exempts protest gatherings from restrictions, placing them in the same category as congregating for religious services.
Garcetti was seen congregating in a group of chanting BLM demonstrators earlier in the year. Angelenos can only hope that their neighbors will execute greater discretion in the interest of public health and saving lives than their mayor has.
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