Illinois Republican Party sues Pritzker over right for political groups to assemble during pandemic

2020-06-04 Gov. Pritzker speaks at rally

Illinois Republican Party v. Pritzker challenges Illinois Gov. J.B. Prtizker’s ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. The lawsuit highlights the arbitrary nature of the Executive Order as some groups can gather while other groups face restrictions. The lawsuit petitions the court to allow the party to operate in-person events in the run-up to the November 2020 election.

he excerpt below is from an article by that appeared June 16, 2020, on Chicago Sun-Times.

 

The Democratic governor in late April extended a COVID-19 executive order which allows for religious groups to gather in accordance with safety guidelines. It included freedom of religion as an “essential activity.” But all gatherings over 10 are still not advised. At one point, CDC guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19 advised against gatherings of more than 10 people.

Pritzker has attended several large events since the police killing of George Floyd and has defended those appearances by saying he was exercising his First Amendment right.

The suit claims “in-person contact is the most persuasive form of communicating ideas” for a political party, with the 2020 election just months away.

“Yet, unlike churches, political parties are barred from gathering in groups greater than 10 under the governor’s executive order. And unlike protesters against police brutality, they have not been given an exemption based on sympathy, recognition, and participation,” the suit says.

“Democrats in the state hold almost every lever of power, and the only thing providing a check on their power, the Illinois Republican Party isn’t even allowed to get together to meet or to properly plan and network for an election which is only five months away,” Schneider said. “This is fundamentally wrong, and as this lawsuit contends, a violation of our First Amendment right.”

 

Read the full article at Chicago Sun-Times

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