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U Of I Law Professor Sees Several Grounds For State To Appeal Bailey Verdict

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Prof. Scott Szala and his Illinois Constitutional Law and Policy class visit the Illinois Supreme Court

A Clay County judge Monday ruled in favor of Republican State Rep. Darren Bailey in his fight against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s extended stay-at-home order.

Judge Michael McHaney granted a temporary restraining order to Bailey, saying that Pritzker’s order exceeds his emergency authority.

Brian Moline talks with Scott Szala.

Illinois Newsroom’s Brian Moline spoke with University of Illinois adjunct professor Scott Szala about the ruling. He teaches a course in Illinois constitutional law. Szala says one important thing to keep in mind about this ruling is that, at least for now, it only applies to one person.

“It only applies to Rep. Bailey,” Szala said. “There may be an attempt by other people to piggyback on it (by filing similar suits).”

Szala says although Illinois law gives the governor 30 days of emergency authority, there’s nothing in state law that prohibits a governor from filing another 30-day order after the first one expires.

“Section 7 of the Illinois Emergency Management Act does not address the issue, and therefore is silent on the issue of subsequent proclamations,” Szala said. “You can’t have one that lasts more than 30 days, but there isn’t anything that says you can’t have subsequent proclamations.”

Szala says there are some other legal points the state could bring up on appeal.

“Article 5, Section 8 of the Illinois Constitution specifically provides that the governor shall have the supreme executive power and shall be responsible for the faithful execution of laws,” he said, and “the Temporary Restraining Order may not have the specificity required under the statute.”

Szala saw after the recorded interview that Rep. Bailey’s attorney filed a supplemental brief Monday morning, the day of the hearing. In that brief, he cited a 2009 law outlining how the Illinois Department of Public Health should respond to a pandemic. That law says the department either needs consent or a court order to place someone in quarantine.

But the question of whether Gov. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order is the same as quarantine will likely be settled on appeal. WCIA-TV reports that Attorney General Kwame Raoul has already filed notice of appeal.

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Brian Moline

Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.

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