Illinois children may soon attend classes mask-free.
On Friday, a Sangamon County Circuit judge granted a request from Tom DeVore to halt the Governor’s executive orders on masking and quarantining schools.
Judge Raylene Grischow found the measures to be beyond Pritzker’s authority, as well as denying students’ right to due process.
In the decision, Judge Grishow wrote:
“This court acknowledges the tragic toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken, not only on this State, but throughout the nation and globe. Nonetheless, it is the duty of the Courts to preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the boundaries of the authority granted under the Constitution.”Chicago Tribune
Many – except Pritzker and CTU teachers- are ecstatic and supportive of the news.
Pritzker is vowing “swift” action against the TRO, citing masks as important to keep schools open.
In his statement Friday evening, he stated he is asking the attorney general’s office for an immediate appeal of the decision.
He sure acted quickly to summon a response.
It would be nice if he could act just as fast to curb crime, which kills children at a higher rate in Chicago than Covid.
According to Pritzker, the “grave” consequence of this ruling will force schools to go remote.
What about the grave consequence of a governor who refuses to act in the best interest of Illinoisans?
The Chicago Tribune has more on the decision and DeVore’s case against Pritzker:
In her ruling, the judge sided with parents who allege that students who object to wearing masks or being excluded from school for being a COVID-19 close contact are entitled to due process, and that such measures are a form of “modified quarantine” that can only be required by the local health department.
“The (Illinois Department of Public Health) is limited by law to delegating its authority only to certified local health departments and has not been authorized by the Legislature to delegate any of its authority to any other body of government, including school districts,” she wrote.
The restraining order prevents the state from ordering school districts to require students involved in the lawsuit to wear masks if they object, “except during the terms of lawful order of quarantine issued from their respective health department.” The order also prevents the state from requiring school districts to force school employees who sued to get vaccinated or test weekly if they object, “without first providing them due process of law.”
Grischow denied DeVore’s request that the lawsuits be given class certification, which if granted, would have extended the ruling to all students at the nearly 170 school districts named in the two lawsuits — one filed by parents against 146 school districts, and a second filed by school employees against 21 school districts.
Although she denied class certification, Judge Grischow pointed out in a footnote to the decision that she had declared the emergency rules at issue from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education void. “Thus, non-named Plaintiffs and School Districts throughout this State may govern themselves accordingly,” she wrote.
The judge’s ruling means that any school district that attempts to enforce the mask requirement against any student whose parents joined the lawsuit would be held in contempt of court, according to DeVore, who said parents who want the ruling to apply to their children can join the lawsuit.
DeVore, an outspoken critic of Pritzker’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, has long argued that the school mask mandate and other mitigation strategies the governor has declared by executive order could not be enforced unless they were formally approved by the General Assembly.
This is such a great win for all the parents tirelessly fighting the government overreach from Pritzker and his minions.
Clearly, Pritzker sides with the union who (likely) continue to line his pocketbook for re-election.
The governor’s argument has no merit. Almost all other states have long dropped mask mandates.
Additionally, we know now that masks and vaccines don’t stop the spread of Covid-19.
But we are learning how detrimental masks are to the mental health of children and the language development of the young.
Now we will see how local schools handle the ruling.
It’s only a matter of time before the levee breaks.