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Tipsheet

IL Congressional Candidate Calls on Governor to Make Permanent Judge's Decision Blocking School COVID Mandates

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

On Friday, Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow temporarily blocked Gov. J. B. Pritzker's (D-IL) executive orders on mask mandates and vaccines, as Andrew Adams for the State Journal-Register reported. Now, Jerry Evans, who, as I recently reported, announced his candidacy to run for Congress and represent Illinois' 11th district, is calling on the governor to make Judge Grischow's ruling permanent. 

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A press release from the Evans' campaign that was shared with Townhall as an exclusive first look notes that Evans " believes that the government should never be allowed to supersede the rights of parents in making decisions about what is best for their children."

"As a teacher and as a father, I strongly support the Circuit Court decision to block schools from enforcing these overreaching mandates with adverse action against our children," said Evans. "My hope is that Governor Pritzker will take note of the hundreds of parents that were behind this lawsuit and the countless parents across the state of Illinois who are merely asking to have their rights as parents respected. It is not the job of the schools or of any government entity to decide what’s best for our children; the responsibility and authority belongs to parents."

Judge Grischow found that the orders were beyond Gov. Pritzker's authority and deprived students and staff of their due process. 

As Adams reported:

The restraining order, which went into effect Friday afternoon, voided emergency rules from the Illinois Board of Education requiring regular testing or proof of vaccination from school staff. It also voids rules from the Illinois Department of Public Health outlining a school's obligation to "exclude" students from school who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 or are a "close contact" to someone with COVID-19.  

The rules stemmed from a Sep. 17 executive order from Pritzker outlining the now-voided requirements.  

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Issuing orders under the guise of combatting rates of the Wuhan coronavirus and under the authority of emergency powers has been something of a habit for Democratic governors. In nearby Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer herself was stripped of her emergency powers she wielded throughout the pandemic after the legislature passed the Unlock Michigan Initiative. 

Writing for The Center Square, Greg Bishop highlighted a part of Grischow's ruling that referred to Pritzker's policies as a "type of evil." 

"The arbitrary method as to contact tracing and masking in general continue to raise fair questions as to the legality of the Executive Orders in light of violations of healthy children’s substantive due process rights," Grischow wrote. "Statutory rights have attempted to be bypassed through the issuance of Executive Orders and Emergency Rules … This type of evil is exactly what the law was intended to constrain."

Pritzker and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul are appealing the judge's decision. 

Friday also brought a decision on masking in Virginia. Arlington Circuit Court Judge Louise DiMatteo issued a temporary restraining order against Gov. Glenn Youngkin's executive order making masking optional. Judge DiMatteo, as I covered, is married to a teacher in the Arlington School District, which was one of the school boards that sued the governor. Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares have vowed they will appeal.

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