County judge rules governor didn’t have authority to extend shutdown order

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker during his press conference on Monday, May 11. (Screenshot)

LOUISVILLE — A Clay County judge has ruled that Illinois Gov. JB Prtizker did not have the authority to extend shutdown executive orders in April.

Pritzker issues statewide stay-at-home orders in March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and extended them in April when infections remained high.

WAND-TV, a NBC affiliate in Decatur, reported that the ruling came on Thursday. The judge ruled that the extension of the executive order limited movement of people in the state, and requiring certain businesses to be shut down was a violation of the state’s Emergency Management Agency Act.

The ruling was part of the lawsuit brought by State Rep. Darren Bailey’s (R-Xenia) against the order. The lawsuit had been moved from federal court back to county court this week.

WAND reported that, during a press conference after the ruling, Bailey’s attorney said that all the governor’s executive orders are invalid and void and the state is now open.

Prtizker’s office had not released a statement as of Friday morning.

Bailey filed the lawsuit back in April and has been one of the most vocal lawmakers against the shutdown orders.

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