(The Center Square) – A state lawmaker has filed a lawsuit challenging the governor’s authority to extend the state’s stay-at-home order.
The suit seeks to have the Illinois Supreme Court determine if Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s has the authority to issue rolling emergency stay-at-home orders that governor said were designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
State Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, filed a lawsuit in Clay County Circuit Court on Thursday challenging the governor’s stay-at-home order beyond April 9.
“I’ve never sued anyone in my life,” Bailey said Thursday on Facebook Live.
“My lawsuit asks the court to find that Gov. Pritzker overextended his power by using additional ‘stay at home’ orders after his original disaster proclamation, which expired on April 9th,” Bailey said in a statement. “Enough is enough. I filed this lawsuit on behalf of myself and my constituents who are ready to go back to work and resume a normal life.”
Longtime politics professor Kent Redfield said the governor’s powers are broad, but could be challenged in the Illinois Supreme Court by anyone with standing.
The lawsuit alleges that “as a direct result of the April 1 Executive Order, Pritzker has acted to restrain Bailey within his residence, as well as limit his travel, for a period of time.”
“The restraint against Bailey impacts his right of freedom of movement within the State of Illinois and the United States of America,” the suit claims.
The suit seeks the court to find the emergency powers lapsed and anything beyond April 7 exceeds his power.
Bailey said the power granted to the governor in the Illinois Emergency Management Act and the authority the governor wields during the COVID-19 crisis “calls for an immediate review and reconsideration of legislative intent.”
Bailey said he’s ready to take the case all the way to the state supreme court.
The governor’s office didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.