Lawsuit challenging Illinois stay-at-home order now in federal court

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A lawsuit challenging the validity of Illinois’ stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus was transferred Thursday from state court to federal court.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office stated in its court filing it was moving the case from state court because it involves U.S. constitutional rights of free religion and due process.

The lawsuit challenging Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order was brought by state Rep. Darren Bailey. Clay County Judge Michael McHaney ruled last month Bailey was not bound by Pritzker’s order shutting down most businesses and churches.

Bailey is now attempting to broaden that ruling to make the order invalid for all state resident. He contends the stay-at-home order is too restrictive and is unnecessarily jeopardizing people’s livelihoods.

Bailey’s attorney filed an emergency request asking the federal court to send the case back to state court. Attorney Tom DeVore calls the state’s move to federal court “disreputable” forum shopping, saying the attorney general and governor had “contrived” constitutional issues he never raised in the lawsuit.


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