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Case Name Illinois Republican Party v. Pritzker PR-IL-0002
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-03489 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID Summary: The Illinois Republican party sued Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzger, alleging that his executive order prohibiting gatherings over ten people did not make constitutionally-required exceptions for political activity.

This suit was brought on June 15, 2020 in the U.S ... read more >
COVID Summary: The Illinois Republican party sued Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzger, alleging that his executive order prohibiting gatherings over ten people did not make constitutionally-required exceptions for political activity.

This suit was brought on June 15, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs were the the Illinois Republican Party, the Will County Republican Central Committee, Schaumberg Township Republican Organization, and Northwest Side GOP Club. Represented by the Liberty Justice Center. They brought suit against Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker after he issued an executive order that banned most gatherings of over ten people in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While the order provided for some exceptions (like religious meetings), it did not grant those same exceptions to political activity. The plaintiffs argued that the order violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. They claimed that the state's enforcement of this order against them and refusal to enforce that policy against churches represented violations of free speech contrary to the First Amendment. They also argued that the order violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection clause for the same reason. Finally, the plaintiffs argued that the state's executive order was without legal authority -- they claimed that the Governor's emergency power was capped at thirty days. After that, he was powerless to issue these orders under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief prohibiting the state from enforcing the executive order against them specifically, and declaratory and injunctive relief that would prohibit the state from enforcing the order in general. They also sought costs and attorney's fees. Simultaneously, they filed a motion requesting a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

The case was assigned to District Judge Sara L. Ellis and referred to Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.

On July 2, the court issued an order an opinion declining to grant the plaintiffs' motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction. Judge Ellis held that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits and that the balance of harms weighed heavily against them. 2020 WL 3604106.

The plaintiffs immediately appealed the decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. A month later, the defendant filed a motion to stay all proceedings in the district court until an opinion was rendered from the 7th Circuit.

On September 3, 2020, the 7th Circuit upheld the district court's denial of a TRO and preliminary injunction.

Jack Hibbard - 08/24/2020
Nicholas Gillan - 11/12/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker
Plaintiff Description Illinois GOP, Will County Republican Central Committee, Schaumberg Township Republican Organization, Northwest Side GOP Club
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/15/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:20-cv-03489 (N.D. Ill.)
PR-IL-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/19/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PR-IL-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 16] (2020 WL 3604106) (N.D. Ill.)
PR-IL-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 00713688021]
PR-IL-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/25/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The Governor's Amended Unopposed Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Appeal [ECF# 31]
PR-IL-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/19/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Barrett, Amy Coney (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0003
Ellis, Sara Lee (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0001 | PR-IL-0002-9000
St. Eve, Amy Joan (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0003
Wood, Diane Pamela (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Schwab, Jeffrey M (Illinois) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0002 | PR-IL-0002-9000
Suhr, Daniel Robert (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0002 | PR-IL-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dworkin, Hal (Illinois) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0004 | PR-IL-0002-9000
Rees, R. Douglas (Illinois) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0004
VanDam, Jeff (Illinois) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0004 | PR-IL-0002-9000
Wells, Christopher Graham (Illinois) show/hide docs
PR-IL-0002-0004

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