SCOTUS Denies Emergency Injunction After Illinois Agrees “Religious Gatherings will no Longer be Subject to Mandatory Restrictions”
A win for the churches, who can come back to court should the restrictions be reimposed.
On May 27, 2020, we noted that two Religious Liberty Lockdown Cases Reach SCOTUS, one from Illinois and one from California. That post has links and excerpts from the respective cases.
Both cases involved allegations that religious groups were treated more harshly under state lockdown orders than secular groups. That has b been a common theme in lockdown litigation.
Illinois effectively capitulated after the Supreme Court filing by abandoning any continuation of the religious restrictions. In its response, Illinois argued the case was moot because it was easing restrictions:
Applicants take issue with the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-32, which prohibits gatherings exceeding ten people, including for in-person religious services, to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. But EO32 will expire by its own terms on May 29, 2020, and the Governor has announced that after that date religious gatherings will no longer be subject to mandatory restrictions; instead, faith leaders will be provided with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.1 Accordingly, applicants’ challenge to EO32 is moot.
In their Reply,the religious groups denied the case was moot as a legal matter, since the conduct could recur:
Mere hours before his Response was due in this Court, the Governor announced a sudden change in his 10-person limit on religious worship services (Resp. 1, n.1), after vigorously defending his policy in both lower courts, and having announced barely 3 weeks ago that it would be 12 to 18 months before numerical limits on worship services were lifted (App. 6). What changed? The Governor was summoned to the steps of this Court to give an account. But the Governor’s sudden change has no permanency or force of law, and both his public statements and his new policy strongly signal an impending return to his old ways. Absent a pronouncement from this Circuit Justice, or the Court, there can be no reasonable expectation that the Governor will not once again infringe Churches’ constitutional rights. Thus, this case is not moot, and the prayed for writ of injunction should issue on the merits to restrain enforcement of the Governor’s arbitrary and discriminatory Orders restricting religious worship.
The Supreme Court just issued its Order denying injunctive relief in light of this change, without addressing the mootness argument itself:
19A1046 ELIM ROMANIAN CHURCH, ET AL. V. PRITZKER, GOV. OF IL
The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Kavanaugh and by him referred to the Court is denied.
The Illinois Department of Public Health issued new guidance on May 28. The denial is without prejudice to Applicants filing a new motion for appropriate relief if circumstances warrant.
This is a win for the Church, and by making the denial without prejudice, the Court made clear that a future application could be made, though an emergency injunction may not we needed at the current time.
The California case is still pending at the Supreme Court, as California has dug in its heels.
SCOTUS: Roberts Joins Liberals To Reject Injunction in California Religious Discrimination Lockdown
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to the full extent allowed by law.
Losing their Pro-Choice religion. Progress.
That said, prudent and bold. They need to be aware of risk factors, including immigration and migration (e.g. sanctuary bodies), and spaces with a greenhouse effect, that create a progressive risk. Oh, and good hygienic habits are an integral aspect of Planned Pathogen.
Translation of the petitioners latest filing?
We don’t trust Governor Pritzker as far as we can throw him, and that’s not far at all.
Especially since he’s such a FatAss.
There is a recall petition
I doubt Madigan (absolute ruler of the Democratic Party Supermajority in the Illinois State Legislature and co-opter of the State Senate) would allow an impeachment under any circumstances.
What a slob. What a fascist.
Methinks he must be the Human Bermuda Triangle…..
Jimmy? Jimmy Hoffa are you stuck up in there?????????
Case is not moot. Merely mute. One of the unresolved plaintiff’s claims is that Pritzker has no legislative authority, and if he does he exceeded it. Now the latter claim is addressed from the plaintiff’s perspective, but not executive over-reach.
So, another moot case because as soon as it hit the Supreme Court, the Effhead politician(s) involved repeal the offensive item rather than take the chance the court will rule in such a manner as to put a legal stop to any future authoritarian horse$#!+ like this.
If I was a SC Justice I would be very tired of shenanigans like this.
It shouldn’t be allowed. Damage has already been done, courts need to take up these cases and hear them in order to (help) prevent similar situations in the future. Governors and mayors would be less likely to make such declarations and “orders” in the future if they already knew they didn’t have a legal leg to stand on. Allowing the transgressors to moot a case does nothing but give them license to take the same offensive actions in the future.
The people have a right to seek redress of grievance. When respondents are allowed to walk like this the courts themselves are denying the people their right to the mitigation of their grievances – the people have a right to have the matter adjudicated and settled. Allowing a respondent to moot a case when he is no longer in a position take similar action in the future is one thing, but letting a respondent off the hook when he remains in exactly the same relationship to the plaintiffs (e.g., the state with respect to the citizenry) is an invitation for the respondent to commit the same offensive acts again.
We are at war. Does everyone get it yet?
Pick your side, and quickly.
Courts decide individual cases.
A case which isn’t actually happening presents no evidence and allows no opportunity for arguments to be made.
And hypotheticals are supposed to be considered by the legislature, not a court.
So, although annoying, this is the right call. And it is indeed a win for the Church, even if not a guaranteed-for-all-eternity win.
I don’t understand how Illinois backing down is a win. In a similar (exact?) CA case, SCOTUS ruled against the church and it again was John Roberts who sided with the leftist judges.
Yet another reason why I have serious reservations about McConnell/Graham’s “success” in filling empty judge positions. I just don’t trust ANY politicians. We are losing and shouldn’t be celebrating.
For churches in the City of Chicago the ruling doesn’t matter. Mayor Lighthead said yesterday that she will not follow court orders. During her Friday press conference the Mayor on camera told President Trump “F… You”
Nothing will happen to her unless Federal Troops are called in.
One good result of the Shamdemic is that the D’Rats are really exposing themselves t be the fascist toads they are. And Roberts continues to prove they still have one or two things on him.