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.

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