CHICAGO — The U.S. Supreme Court has given Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker until Thursday night to respond to an appeal by two local churches for emergency relief from his stay-at-home order over the coronavirus.
Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, and Logos Baptist Ministries in Niles, want a high court ruling before this weekend.
The pastor of Elim Romanian has vowed to defy the governor’s order that bans gatherings of 10 or more people.
His church was among three that were fined by the City of Chicago for holding services last weekend.
As that Thursday nigth deadline looms, former Chicago mayoral candidate, community activist and businessman Dr. Willie Wilson sent a letter to Washington, D.C. to enlist the support of President Trump and Attorney General William Barr in the dispute regarding houses of worship.
In the letter, Wilson complained about Mayor Lightfoot and the citations the city issued and disorderly conduct charges filed against the churches.
Wilson said that if places that sell alcohol are allowed to be considered essential services, so should churches.
“The problem with the mayor and also the governor is that they put themselves above the law,” said Wilson. “And I understand this Sunday, they were supposed to give a ticket to the people who come to service. This is not China or the Soviet Union. This is America where we have rights.”
Wilson has offered to pay those fines.
Earlier this month, Trump demanded that governors and mayors reopen their churches, mosques and synagogues — arguing that they are essential and should be exempt from stay-at-home orders.