Illinois State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene and defend the constitutional rights and civil liberties of Illinois citizens, currently being violated by the directives of Governor J.B. Pritzker.
"Governor Pritzker's executive orders have effectively transformed Illinois into an autocracy in a matter of weeks," said Sen. Plummer. "The Governor is depriving Illinoisans of their constitutional rights and, when the people seek redress, he is grotesquely using state police power to threaten and intimidate citizens, businesses, and local units of government who dare question or challenge his seized authority."
Eight weeks ago, Pritzker ordered all Illinois residents to remain in their homes and all church services, school and children activities halted. He also demanded that most Illinois businesses close indefinitely.
According to Sen. Plummer, such executive orders are in clear violation of due process of the United States and Illinois Constitutions, as well as the procedural safeguards within the Illinois Department of Public Health Act and Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act.
"Governor Pritzker is acting in complete disregard of all constitutional and statutory safeguards which limits his authority," said Sen. Plummer.
Sen. Plummer contends that these executive orders violate, among other things, citizens’ First Amendment rights to free speech, freedom of assembly, free exercise of religion, as well as their Fifth Amendment rights. The executive orders amount to a taking of property by government without due process of law.
"The process by which Governor Pritzker has handled this crisis is shocking, has shredded the separation of powers, and sets a terrible precedent that must not be allowed to stand. The exclusion of the legislative branch of government during this crisis and the arbitrariness of the governor’s orders have undermined the rule of law," said Sen. Plummer. "The wanton destruction of Illinoisans’ livelihoods by Governor Pritzker’s orders has destroyed jobs and decimated tens-of-billions of dollars of assets while undermining private property rights in our state. The total damage Governor Pritzker has done to families, workers, and job creators in this state is so large as to be currently immeasurable and unfathomable."
Last month, U.S. Attorney General William Barr publicly released a memorandum he sent to his 94 U.S. Attorneys on these issues titled "Balancing Public Safety with the Preservation of Civil Rights." It stated that the U.S. Constitution is "not suspended in times of crisis."
Governor Pritzker’s orders are clear evidence that he believes he can suspend the U.S. Constitution in Illinois.