Illinois Gov. Revokes Church Restrictions after SCOTUS Gets Involved

‘The unilateral actions of Gov. J.B. Pritzker is the classic example of tyranny…’

'Ill-Founded and Selfish': Federal Judge Strikes Down Churches' Request to Gather

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker: Wikimedia Commons

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted all restrictions that he had placed on churches after two Romanian churches filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh told Pritzker that he had to submit a legal response to the emergency injunction response by 8 p.m. on May 28, Liberty Counsel reported.

Instead of battling the First Amendment in the Supreme Court, Pritzker eliminated the 10-person limit on church gatherings and published new, non-binding guidelines for churches. The state cannot punish churches that refuse to follow the guidelines.

Liberty Counsel, which represents Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries, said Pritzker could immediately reimplement restrictions on church services, since the Supreme Court never ruled against his order.

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“The unilateral actions of Gov. J.B. Pritzker is the classic example of tyranny,” Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said. “He knew he did not have authority to trample on the First Amendment rights of churches and houses of worship, but he did anyway and continued to do so until his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Liberty Counsel filed the emergency injunction request to the Supreme Court on May 23 after the Chicago Department of Public Health threatened to shut down the church.

Commissioner Allison Arwady said the churches are a “public nuisance” because they hosted gatherings with more than 10 congregants.

“I am authorized to seek to enjoin such nuisance or to cause the same to be summarily abated in such manner as I may direct,” Awrady wrote in a letter to the churches.

Liberty Counsel said the churches will ask the Supreme Court to hear the case, even though Pritzker repealed the executive order, since he could reinstate it.

“The fact that he recently said that churches would never get above 50 people for at least 12 to 18 months, and now a few hours before he had to file with the Supreme Court he removes all restrictions, illustrates that he had no basis for the orders in the first place,” Staver said.