Illinois Politics

Illinois AG Trounces Bailey's

Court Case Against Gov. Pritzker

 Raoul Gives 4 Reasons Why Plaintiff's Motion Should Be Denied

                                                          By Steve Rensberry
                                                                    RP News
   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. -(RP NEWS) - 8/7/2020 - Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul blasted Illinois Rep. Darren Bailey's (R-Xenia) latest filing in his case against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, slamming Bailey's reasons for keeping this case in the courts -- a case that has become increasingly moot in many circles because of the governor's Emergency Management Act powers (IEMA Act, 20 ILCS 3305) and the continuing state of concern about the spread of the virus.
     The AG's case filing took place on Aug. 6.
    “Public rhetoric notwithstanding, Bailey has made every effort to prevent this Court from issuing either an injunction that would bar the Governor from exercising Emergency Management Act powers . . . or a final judgment that would resolve the parties’ dispute in this Court once and for all, Response to Defendants [sic] Motion to Dismiss . . . The July 2 Order is neither final nor enforceable because it involves fewer than all issues and does not include “a finding that there is no just reason for delaying enforcement or appeal,” Raoul's legal filing in Clay County states.
   Raoul had sought consideration of the case in late May in federal court, but plaintiff Attorney Tom DeVore filed to move it to Clay County, arguing that it violated the principle of federalism whereby federal courts may only hear certain kinds of cases, namely those involving only federal matters.
   Bailey's latest argument, as characterized by Raoul, essentially states that since no one has yet died in Clay County from COVID-19, and since only nine people so far have contracted it, therefore there is no “high probability” that a “large number” of deaths will result, or of “widespread exposure.”
   “Bailey's argument reduces to the proposition that an event has no probability of occurring until it has occurred,” Raoul's filing states. “Or to put it another way, a highly contagious and deadly virus has no probability of causing widespread harm until it does. This reasoning is stunningly illogical, and the Court should not accept it.”
   The AG castigates Bailey's motives in the case: “Ordinarily, a litigant who had convinced a court to rule in his favor on the merits of his case would take immediate action to effectuate that result. Here, Bailey did the opposite. He resisted every effort to dismiss his one outstanding count and transform the Court's interloculatory order into a final judgement . . . . To this day, the July 2 Order binds no one and has no legal effect because Bailey apparently prefers it to remain a meaningless piece of paper -- in stark distinction to the far-reaching consequences he ascribes to it in the public eye.”
   Specifically, the filing urges the court to deny Bailey's motion for these reasons:

  •    First, Bailey’s proposed additional count fails to state a cause of action because the Emergency Management Act does not require the Governor to make disaster determinations on a county-by-county basis.
  •    Second, Bailey’s proposed additional count fails to state a cause of action because he does not plead facts sufficient to show that there is currently no “public health emergency” in Clay County.
  •    Third, Bailey lacks standing to pursue his proposed additional count because a decision in his favor will not redress his claimed injury. This is because Bailey fails to challenge an independent basis for the Governor’s authority to exercise emergency powers—the existence of an “epidemic” in Clay County.
  •    Fourth, Bailey’s proposed additional count is untimely and, in the context of his many other gambits designed to delay the conclusion of these proceedings, reflects an ongoing bad-faith effort to abuse the judicial process for political gain.
    Bailey filed another petition on Aug. 5 seeking a civil contempt order against the governor for imposing additional executive orders following the first one, in violation of a July 2 ruling by Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney. 
   Bailey urged in a public announcement that a special legislative session be held to address the issues. “Apparently, some people have forgotten we have a representative government. The General Assembly needs to convene immediately to address the critical issues of governance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of the one-person rule from the Governor’s headquarters in Chicago."
   (Thank you to Rich Miller at for info on this latest AG court filing.)