Rockford's Independent Newspaper

State Rep. John Cabello to challenge Illinois stay-at-home order

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – Illinois Rep. John Cabello says he will file a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.

Cabello’s suit will be the second in the state filed by a remember of the Illinois House, however, the the Machesney Park Republican says it will differ from the complaint filed by Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia). While Bailey’s filing, which resulted in a temporary restraining order, only applies to him,  Cabello said his efforts would include everyone.

Cabello told local media Tuesday that he wants Illinoisans to be able to make a choice whether to remain home during the pandemic and for businesses to have the option to open, close or open with social-distancing restrictions.

“We need to do something to get back to our normal American way of life,” Cabello said.

Cabello has also been a vocal opponent of the governor and the Illinois Department of Corrections’ decision to commute prison sentences of 4,000 inmates, some convicted of murder, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“J.B. Pritzker is jeopardizing citizens across Illinois by letting criminals out of jail,” Cabello said in a release. “The prisoners he has released are all making their way back into our communities because the Governor clearly has no regard for the public safety of our citizens. These are not low level offenders many of them are murderers, rapists, and domestic violence offenders.”

The governor said everyone he’s released has either been at the end of their sentences or in need of medical treatment, including terminally ill cancer patients at the end of their lives.

Pritzker filed an appeal to Bailey’s complaint Tuesday and further accused the House member for politicizing the seriousness of Illinois’ COVID-19 situation.

“This was a cheap political stunt designed so that the representative can see his name in headlines, and unfortunately he has briefly been successful in that most countless of feats as absurd as this charade is, we are taking this matter very seriously,” Pritzker said. “While the court’s order is limited, the risk it poses is significant. By agreeing with the plaintiffs in this initial ruling, the court set a dangerous precedent. Slowing the spread of this virus is critical to saving lives by ensuring our healthcare system has the resources to treat patients who get sick. And we will not stop this virus if because of this ruling, any resident can petition to be exempted from aspects of the orders that rely on collective action to keep us all safe.”

Pritzker’s current stay-at-home order expires Friday. He announced last week his attention to extend it through May 30, with modifications allowing some businesses to open.

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