State GOP: Ban on political gatherings violates free speech

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.

The excerpt below is from an article by that appeared June 16, 2020, on Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

 

“Though the government has a compelling interest here in preventing the spread of COVID-19, its restrictions are not narrowly tailored because it is exempting certain politically powerful or sympathetic groups while enforcing them against similarly situated actors who lack the same political favor of the [g]overnor,” the suit contends.

The suit also points to Pritzker’s lack of enforcement of the order against protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police as “an exemption based on his sympathy, recognition, and participation.”

Daniel Suhr, a senior associate attorney for the Liberty Justice Center, which represents the plaintiffs, said in a videoconference with reporters Tuesday that events hosted by political parties are similar to protest rallies and marches — both are protected forms of speech, assembly and expression under the First Amendment.

But, Pritzker has been “picking and choosing” who receives “carve-outs” to the gathering limits outlined in his order, Suhr said, adding that political parties have not received the same exemptions.

 

Read the full article at Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

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