FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (WAND) – The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a statement in the case of Rep. Darren Bailey vs. Governor JB Pritzker.
In the 21-page statement issued Friday, the DOJ issued a “statement of interest” following the relocation of Bailey's lawsuit from state to federal court by the Governor. That took place hours before a hearing was set to take place in Clay County Court.
In the filing, the DOJ asked that the governor’s request be denied because Bailey’s lawsuit “makes no federal claim." Rather, he alleges that the governor has exceeded the statutory authority granted under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act.
The DOJ said in the statement, it supports Rep. Bailey’s lawsuit, saying it believes the extension of the governor’s stay-at-home order is a violation of Bailey’s rights.
"Plaintiff has set forth a strong case that the Orders exceed the authority granted to the governor by the Illinois legislature,” the statement said.
The six attorney’s who wrote the statement pointed to guidance from at least two other Illinois Attorney Generals who concluded the governor cannot extend emergency executive orders beyond 30 days without legislative approval.
“Although it is for the Illinois’ courts, not the United States, to interpret state law, it is not clear from the face of the Act from where the Governor derived his authority to issue a second proclamation of public health emergency relating to COVID-19 and, in any event, his Executive Order, which purported to continue until April 30, 2020, far exceeded the 30-day limit set forth in the Act,” the statement said.
In their request to return Rep. Bailey’s lawsuit to state court, the attorney’s said if a federal court does decide to hear the case, they are asking for a ruling against the Governor.
WAND News reached out to Pritzker for comment and has not heard back.