Tuesday, May 05, 2020

The Shutdown Has Never Been About Saving Even One Life: Slowing The Spread...,

wirepoints |  A Star Wars sequel gave us a modern adage for the role of public opinion: Liberty dies with thunderous applause.

For those reasons, it’s particularly alarming to see the public’s opinion about the clear illegality of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s emergency stay-at-home orders, which is indifference.

That indifference is almost universal in Illinois’ press. Editorial condemnation of the order’s illegality has been almost nonexistent. A particularly sad example was an April 23 Chicago Tribune editorial. Flattening the curve is good, it said, so hurrah for extending the order. No mention of its illegality.

Same with the general public. Polling says 93% of Illinoisans approve Pritzker’s orders, including 75% who said they strongly approved. Illegality apparently is of no consequence.

Maybe the public thinks this is about some petty “technicality.” Maybe they think it doesn’t matter because the order is sensible.

But Pritzker’s orders are illegal, flagrantly so, and it matters.

State authorization for the nearly unlimited power asserted under the orders limits them to 30 days. But Pritzker claims he can extend that to eternity simply by issuing successive 30-day orders forever, an arrogant, autocratic and untenable interpretation of the statute.

More importantly, the orders violate a range of of constitutional rights. No effort was made to confine the orders to legitimate public safety goals and tailor them to respect those rights. They reflect no rational basis for the lines between what is permissible and impermissible and, as they apply to many Illinoisans, the orders would not survive the strict scrutiny courts say the constitution demands insofar as they impair certain constitutional rights.