Illinois Government Responses to Covid-19 Updated 5/4/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- 2,000+ newly reported cases
- Judge holds Governor’s order does not violate religious freedom
- Nearly 3,000 new known cases were reported in Illinois on Sunday, the second highest daily total since the pandemic began. However, this number comes from the 19,417 new tests that were completed, the most screenings done in Illinois to date. While more tests are being completed in the state, Governor Pritzker warns residents that it is imperative to continue to abide by the state’s stay-at-home order. This warning comes after reports over the weekend of residents in certain areas ignoring or relaxing guidelines in the order. Governor Pritzker also urged local governments and police departments to help enforce the guidelines, stating there is no other way to defeat the virus than to continue staying home and social distancing.
- Last week, a northern Illinois church filed a lawsuit against Governor Pritzker, alleging that the Governor’s stay-at-home order restricted religious freedom in violation of the Constitution. However, a U.S. District Judge disagreed. On Sunday, Judge John Z. Lee issued a 37-page decision finding the stay-at-home order constitutional. Although Judge Lee determined the case’s claims to be rendered partially moot, he did consider the claims on prior damages, ultimately denying those complaints. Judge Lee stated that the order does not target religious organizations, comparing churches more to schools and movie theaters, which have also remained closed, as opposed to grocery stores, which have been allowed to remain open. While this is a victory for Governor Pritzker, the district court notes that the decision is only determining the order’s constitutional requirements as they pertain to religious organizations, leaving open the question of whether the Governor has the authority to affect economic interests and residents’ ability to move about freely by the order. For more information, visit https://chicago.suntimes.com/coronavirus/2020/5/3/21245936/stay-at-home-order-constitutional-us-district-court-john-lee-beloved-church-lena-illinois.
- Southern Illinois state representative Darren Bailey, who won a temporary restraining order last Monday allowing him to disregard the rules laid out in Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, is now trying to vacate the court’s temporary restraining order to reset the case in the same county “because of new findings.” These new findings include the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor’s guidance on enforcing the stay-at-home orders. For more information, visit https://www.bnd.com/news/politics-government/article242430461.html.