A circuit court judge on Monday granted a restraining order against Pritzker’s extended order, saying he could not take action to keep state Republican Rep. Darren Bailey at his home or limit his ability to travel within the state.
Bailey is now freed from the harsh restrictions, which have largely kept Illinois residents at home for over a month.
The ruling only applies to the state lawmaker for now but other legal challenges to the strict stay at home mandate are expected because of it.
Lightfoot, a Democrat in her first term, said Chicago will continue enforcing Pritzker’s order despite the ruling.
“I applaud and unequivocally support Governor Pritzker’s actions to extend the stay-at-home order to protect all Illinois residents,” she said in a statement. “Nothing about today’s ruling will change the city’s intention to continue imposing the stay-at-home restrictions. We need this effort to keep all Chicagoans safe and health, and we will stay the course.”
Pritzker, a former businessman also in his first term, vowed to appeal the ruling, and said he still wants to extend his order beyond its previous April 30 expiration date.
“Rep. Darren Bailey’s decision to take to the courts to try and dismantle public health directives designed to keep people safe is an insult to all Illinoisans who have been lost during this COVID-19 crisis, and it’s a danger to millions of people who may get ill because of his recklessness,” he told reporters on Monday.
Lightfoot said she supports the plan to appeal, claiming the ruling would “destroy the collective progress” Illinois has made against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China last year that causes the COVID-19 disease.
The ruling does not mean that residents should return to their daily lives.
“In fact it means the opposite. Continued compliance will be needed to keep flattening the curve and ultimately lead to a decrease in cases. Contrary to what this ruling suggests, we must all be in this together, and only through cooperation and collaboration can we contain and limit the effects of the virus,” she said.
Bailey announced the lawsuit filing earlier in April, telling supporters that he expected Pritzker to let some regions of the state reopen before others.
“I understand perfectly well the high concentrated areas of Chicago. I get that,” he said in a Facebook live video.
“It’s different down here, okay? So, no more nonsense. Enough is enough.”
Illinois had 45,883 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 27. The state is not releasing the number of recovered patients. Most people who get infected later recover; a significant number never show symptoms or suffer only mild symptoms.
Symptoms include fever, fatigue, aches and pains, and chills.
The state has also seen 1,983 deaths linked to the new disease.
The vast majority of the cases and deaths are in Chicago or nearby counties. Some counties in the southern part of the state have as few as two confirmed cases.