The Democratic governor of Illinois is angry with a judge who sided with a Republican against his state’s “stay-at-home” order.
State Rep. Darren Bailey (R) was granted on Monday a temporary judicial reprieve from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order, the Washington Examiner reported. While the ruling only applies to the lawmaker in question, Pritzker is incensed and pledges to fight the decision in court.
Judge sides with GOP legislator
All over the country, a debate on whether “the cure is worse than the disease” has continued to rage as millions of Americans — at least 26 million — have lost their jobs to draconian lockdown orders, and concerns linger over a perceived attack on civil liberties. Patience with the lockdowns has started to wear thin, leading to scenes of open mutiny.
In Illinois, that pushback is being taken to the courts. Last week, Rep. Bailey challenged Pritzker’s authority to make him stay home, filing a motion to block the Democrat “from taking any action…which orders Darren Bailey to stay at home, or at his place of residence, as well as limiting his ability to travel within the state,” the Examiner reported.
Gov. Pritzker has taken issue with the fact that a judge from a rural, southern part of Illinois sided with Bailey this week, saying that Pritzker’s order “shredded the Constitution.” According to Chicago NBC affiliate WMAQ, the Democrat is appealing the decision, arguing that Bailey is endangering the lives of Illinoisans by asserting the right to leave his house.
“It’s insulting. It’s dangerous, and people’s safety and health have now been put at risk,” Pritzker said. “There may be people who contract coronavirus as a result of what Darren Bailey has done.”
On Wednesday, Pritzker was left positively huffing and puffing about “science” when a second Republican, state Rep. John Cabello, filed a lawsuit challenging the order. “This callous disregard for science, reason, and the value of human life will be settled by the courts,” Pritzker’s press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh, screeched.
Lawmaker slams shutdown
Other Democratic governors have used similar rhetoric, arguing that anyone who disobeys lockdown orders is selfishly jeopardizing lives. But that hasn’t stopped people from challenging the lockdowns as unlawful, authoritarian, and unfair. Drawing from points made by many critics of the lockdowns, Rep. Bailey said that Pritzker’s order punishes rural residents over a disease that is concentrated in densely populated urban areas, Fox News reported.
“The message is clear, we are not Chicago and we already distance ourselves just by our rural life styles. Why should we be punished with the loss of jobs and closing our businesses when the coronavirus emergency isn’t the same for us?” Bailey asked last week. “This one-size-fits-all mentality needs to be reviewed and take into account our diversity from urban to rural areas of the state.”
Gov. Pritzker appeared to subtweet Bailey, pointing out that “two highest counties [for per capita coronavirus cases] are Jasper & Monroe—both in Southern IL.”
While some governors have started relaxing their lockdowns, others, mostly Democrats, have extended them. Pritzker’s state is among those hit harder by the virus, with over 2,000 deaths and nearly 50,000 positive cases, according to official state statistics. He extended his order to May 30 last week, though some restrictions were relaxed, WMAQ reported.
A Democrat governor is upset with a judge for defending the Constitution? Disturbing, but not surprising.