Several Democratic governors across the country have recently extended their restrictive stay-at-home orders rather than gradually reopening their states.
Such an order in Illinois was challenged in court based on the claim that it violates the civil rights of individuals, and Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney agreed, according to the Associated Press.
Pritzker challenged in court
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has been under attack for extending his statewide stay-at-home order through the end of May.
His critics have argued that he has taken such action solely for political reasons rather than to slow the spread of COVID-19, as he claims.
When Pritzker extended the order, that decision was challenged in court by Republican State Rep. Darren Bailey.
Bailey filed for a temporary restraining order against the stay-at-home order, and the Clay County Circuit Court sided with his arguments.
Potentially significant ruling
Since Bailey only sought the restraining order against Pritzker’s edict on his own behalf, technically, the ruling handed down by Judge McHaney applies just to him.
Even so, the decision opens the door for others in the state of Illinois to lodge similar challenges to restrictions on their freedoms.
Pritzker has also vowed to immediately fight the ruling, calling Bailey’s actions both “insulting” and “dangerous,” and according to Chicago NBC affiliate WMAQ, the governor indeed filed a notice of appeal in the matter the day after McHaney’s decision was issued.
It is important to note that Bailey has never argued that all restrictions put into place to combat the spread of COVID-19 should be lifted.
After his successful court battle, Bailey reiterated that people still need to use precautions when it comes to the coronavirus, but that they should also stand up to an overreaching government in order to protect their civil liberties.
With a handful of Democratic-controlled states extending their orders through the end of May, and some even into June, this outcome could inspire a slew of new lawsuits throughout the country with citizens fighting back against the lockdowns that have crippled the American economy.