A downstate Illinois judge blasted both the state’s Democrat Governor, J.B. Pritzker, and the governor’s stay-at-home order in a ruling issued over the weekend, calling the continued coronavirus-related lockdown measures “insanity” and “completely devoid of anything approaching common sense.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported, earlier this week, that Clay County Judge Michael McHaney, who has already issued one ruling exempting a Republican state lawmaker from the governor’s lockdown orders, again issued a ruling granting a temporary restraining order, this time to James Mainer, an Iraq War veteran, and his business, HCL Deluxe Tan LLC, exempting Mainer and his business from the stay-at-home order.
In this ruling, though, McHaney let the governor have it, pointing out inconsistency after inconsistency in Pritzker’s orders, excoriating the Illinois state government for allowing marijuana dispensaries and Wal-Marts to operate but not small businesses and religious institutions, severely criticizing the state’s decision to allow abortions to continue during lockdown but not elective medical procedures, and dressing down the governor, who, McHaney claims, has far over-reached his authority and the extent of his emergency powers.
“Americans don’t get ruled,” McHaney said.
“Since the inception of this insanity, the following regulations, rules, or consequences have occurred: I won’t get COVID if I get an abortion but I will get COVID if I get a colonoscopy. Selling pot is essential but selling goods and services at a family-owned business is not,” McHaney railed. “The pot wasn’t even legal and pot dispensaries didn’t even exist in this state until five months ago and, in that five months, they have become essential but a family-owned business in existence for five generations is not.”
He then began listing the inconsistencies in the governor’s order.
“A family of six can pile in their car and drive to Carlyle Lake without contracting COVID but, if they all get in the same boat, they will,” McHaney said. “We are told that kids rarely contract the virus and sunlight kills it, but summer youth programs, sports programs are canceled. Four people can drive to the golf course and not get COVID but, if they play in a foursome, they will. If I go to Walmart, I won’t get COVID but, if I go to church, I will. Murderers are released from custody while small business owners are threatened with arrest if they have the audacity to attempt to feed their families.”
McHaney then took Pritzker to task for allowing his own family members to travel to Florida and Wisconsin while demanding Illinois residents stay put to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Our economy is shut down because of a flu virus with a 98 percent-plus survival rate,” McHaney explained. “Doctors and experts say different things weekly. The defendant cites models in his opposition. The only thing experts will agree on is that all models are wrong and some are useful. The Centers for Disease Control now says the virus is not easily spread on surfaces.”
‘The defendant, in this case, orders you to stay home and pronounces that, if you leave the state, you are putting people in danger,” McHaney added, referring to Pritzker himself. “But his family members traveled to Florida and Wisconsin because he deems such travel essential. One initial rationale why the rules don’t apply to him is that his family farm had animals that needed to be fed. Try selling that argument to farmers who have had to slaughter their herds because of disruption in the supply chain.”
McHaney then zeroed in on Illinois’ lockdown, calling it despotic.
“When laws do not apply to those who make them, people are not being governed, they are being ruled. Make no mistake, these executive orders are not laws. They are royal decrees. Illinois citizens are not being governed, they are being ruled. The last time I checked Illinois citizens are also Americans and Americans don’t get ruled.”
McHaney’s previous ruling, exempting a state lawmaker from the lockdown rules, still stands, but other rulings, challenging Pritzker’s authority to limit and, in some cases, ban religious services, are still under appeal. The United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld the state’s lockdown rules as they apply to churches, ruling that the state’s stay-at-home order “does not discriminate against religious activities.”
That ruling is now being appealed to the Supreme Court and a request for an emergency stay of Pritzker’s order is under consideration by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The United States Department of Justice also issued a scathing notice to Pritzker on Wednesday, threatening to intervene in the state lawmaker’s case against the Illinois lockdown order, according to the Sun-Times, warning Pritzker that his “orders exceed the authority granted to the governor by the Illinois legislature.”
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