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State Rep. Darren Bailey Says Gov. Pritzker's Stay-At-Home Order Extension Violates Constitution

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A judge on Monday granted a request by Illinois state Rep. Darren Bailey to halt a 30-day extension of Gov. JB Pritzker's stay-at-home order to fight the novel coronavirus.

Bailey (R-Xenia) claimed in the lawsuit filed last week that Pritzker has exceeded his authority and is violating the civil rights of the state's residents by extending the stay-at-home order for an additional 30 days, through May 30.

Bailey joined CBS 2's Brad Edwards and Irika Sargent remotely Monday to talk about the lawsuit he filed that led to the ruling – and to warnings from Pritzker that it could put lives in jeopardy.

The lawsuit that Bailey filed only frees him personally of the requirement to comply with the stay-at-home order. He encouraged others to do the same, but said he expected the ultimate resolution of the case would be that the extension of the order would be defeated on constitutional grounds.

"We're going to go ahead and pursue this on an individual basis. We believe that this would go through the courts much easier and smoother. So yes, anyone is able and entitled to file a suit – to file a class-action suit… and I encourage that, if that's what they want to do, they probably should – but I believe that you know, obviously, as this plays out and reaches the endpoint and the Constitution is upheld, it would obviously make sense that what's good for me is good for everyone else," Bailey said.

Gov. JB Pritzker said the ruling will be appealed. He also lashed out at Bailey, accusing him of putting the public in danger.

"Rep. Darren Bailey's decision to take to the courts to try and dismantle public health directives designed to keep people safe is an insult to all Illinoisans who have been lost during this COVID-19 crisis, and it's a danger to millions of people who may get ill because of his recklessness," Pritzker said shortly after the ruling on Monday. "It's insulting, it's dangerous, and people's safety and health has now been put at risk; there may be people who contract coronavirus as a result of what Darren Bailey has done."

Sargent asked Bailey if he would abide by the extended stay-at-home order if Pritzker and the Illinois Attorney General prevailed in the case and he did not. Bailey said he did not think that would happen, and he said Illinois has a Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan that should have been applied for the coronavirus pandemic.

"What's going on is actually that our governor, JB Pritzker, is threatening the very constitutionality of the land that we live in by taking actions on himself. This plan entails the Illinois Department of Public Health and their local bodies take care of this very plan for exactly what's taking place today," Bailey said.

But Bailey said he would honor the stay-at-home law if not successful.

"I will continue to hopefully pursue it legislatively. The legislators – the House and Senate – have also been asleep during this whole time in just allowing, I don't know, fear, panic – allowing this governor to do as he wishes. Like I said, this doesn't change anything," he said. "Matter of fact, I think it's going to make it better if we allow local health department to do what they need to do in their localities."

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