Illinois Gov. Pritzker Fighting Tooth and Nail to Continue Masking Kids

Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool

Earlier this month, an Illinois state judge in rural Sangamon County granted a temporary restraining order ending the mask mandate in schools because Gov. J.B. Pritzker had overstepped his authority. The result was mass confusion in schools as some districts tried to maintain the mandate while others ended it.


In addition, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers voted down a bid from the Illinois Department of Public Health to renew the mask mandates and other public health orders. This meant that whatever authority Pritzker believed he had to order kids to mask up disappeared with the expiration of the emergency order.

But Pritzker isn’t finished. He’s taking his appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court after the appellate court hearing his appeal cited the bipartisan legislative rules committee action, making Pritzker’s plea moot.

Chicago Tribune:

Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a statement that the appellate court’s “failure to address the important legal issues in question has added to the confusion resulting from the circuit court’s decision prioritizing a relatively small group of plaintiffs who refuse to acknowledge science or the need for public health measures to protect vulnerable Illinois residents.”

The ruling only addressed the emergency rule that lawmakers blocked, which “does not affect the executive orders issued by the governor under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, including the governor’s executive order requiring the use of masks in school, the exclusion from school of persons exposed to COVID-19, and testing of unvaccinated school employees working on school premises,” Raoul said.

AG Raoul is full of it and he knows it. In fact, the Sangamon County judge ruled that the governor issued his executive orders unlawfully, and the appellate court declined to rule on that aspect or any aspect of the issue since the emergency orders had expired.

For Naperville resident Gracia Livie, a mother of four and one of the plaintiffs, getting an email from DeVore at 2:30 a.m. Friday alerting her of the appellate court decision brought both joy and relief.

“This decision is a victory for the parents and kids of Illinois, proving that kids have the right to due process and mask choice,” said Livie, who has three children who attend Naperville School District 203, including a kindergartner with cerebral palsy who struggled with wearing a mask, which prompted Livie to push back on the governor’s mandate.

While District 203 recently shifted to a mask optional policy, Livie said even before the district’s mandate was lifted, her children were allowed to attend classes mask-free following Grischow’s order.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Public Schools aren’t budging from their mask requirement. Children who don’t mask up are being sent home, which is why several parents from the CPS are taking their case to the same appellate court in Sangamon County to find relief.

If history is a guide, they’re going to get it.



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