Bailey, attorney say new info a ‘game changer’ in case against stay-at-home order
Republican lawmaker has suit sent back to circuit court, where it will be amended
Published by Capitol News Illinois on May 01, 2020
By Rebecca Anzel
SPRINGFIELD — State Rep. Darren Bailey, from Xenia, told an appeals court Thursday to undo a judge’s order releasing him from Illinois’ stay-at-home restriction.
His attorney, Thomas DeVore, said in an interview Friday that with newly-uncovered information strengthening their allegation that Gov. J.B. Pritzker overstepped his authority, there are “bigger fish to fry right now than my client being the only one in the state not under this order.”
The document he is referring to is guidance from the governor’s office and Illinois Department of Public Health detailing how stay-at-home restrictions are to be enforced.
“If you do not adhere to these Executive Orders, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Certified Local Health Departments have the authority” to require residents and businesses to comply, and it cites the statute creating the department.
According to law, if public health officials believe a person is a “danger to the public health,” they may quarantine or isolate that person “to prevent the probable spread of a dangerously contagious or infectious disease.”
That cannot be implemented, though, without the resident’s consent or a court order issued within 48 hours. The burden of proof to get a judge to sign off is significant — among other things, the department would need to prove that the community’s health is “significantly endangered” by the person it seeks to quarantine.
Those rules also apply to businesses the IDPH might seek to close due to health concerns.
“Local health departments got that letter,” DeVore said. “Why did our citizens not get this letter advising them of their rights to due process?”
DeVore is alleging Pritzker does not have the authority to enforce his stay-at-home restrictions because that power rests with the state and local health departments. He is also alleging that if the state is using the law dictating how the Illinois Department of Public Health enforces the restrictions, it should follow the procedure outlined.
“Pritzker has perverted the emergency provisions of the (Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act) in an effort to rip the sacred responsibility of the health and lives of the people away from where the Legislature placed it, being local control of county health departments or the (IDPH), and in doing so he took complete control of the free movement of every citizen within the state of Illinois,” DeVore argued in a related lawsuit he filed on behalf of Republican Rep. John Cabello, from Machesney Park.
“Even if well intentioned by Pritzker, his actions as governor have left every citizen in this state completely devoid of any procedural due process rights to protect their liberty…,” the document continues.
The words “quarantine” and “isolation” are not used in the governor’s executive orders, which also allow for travel to supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential activities, as well as for outdoor walks.
Bailey’s case was sent back to Clay County Circuit Court on Friday.