By: Mark Glennon*

Despite growing defiance across Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker late Friday quietly filed an emergency rule stepping up criminal enforcement of his controversial emergency shutdown order. The full text of the new rule is published in WTTW’s story on it.

The new rule effectively directs county state’s attorneys and other officials to enforce the emergency rule, making violations punishable by fines up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment up to a year as Class A misdemeanors. Violations would include operators of restaurants, salons, workout facilities and bars that open in contravention of his order.

Pritzker initially and repeatedly said that he would leave enforcement to local discretion, but last week moved in a much harsher direction, threatening a variety of consequences for violations of his emergency order.

Whether this new step by Pritzker can be accomplished in this manner – unilaterally and without statutory authorization – is unclear. If it is permissible, it would be subject to review by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in the General Assembly. Eight of its twelve members can vote to reject the rule. However, they rarely reject anything.

Illinois is a national outlier, keeping its particularly harsh shutdown order in place even while almost all other states have begun opening up more aggressively.

Consequently, Pritzker is facing a quickly growing list of municipalities, officeholders and citizens objecting to his order, suing or defying it outright. Pritzker, his press secretary and some of his friends in the press have often tried to characterized dissenters as Nazis, anti-Semites or nutjobs, but the scope of the opposition indicates otherwise. Among the headlines we have seen in the last several days:

Consider the precedent Pritzker is setting if his power grab is not checked – both the political and legal precedent. This should not be a partisan issue. Pick a topic on which feelings are intense and think about the precedent for abuse, whatever side you are on. What might an anti-immigration governor, for example, do in the face of an epidemic known to be coming from immigrants? Or a governor who concludes that global warming is a major death threat justifying emergency powers?

Governor Pritzker’s view of emergency executive powers must not be permitted to stand and become precedent.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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Governor of Alderaan
7 days ago

The “I was just following orders” defense didn’t work at Nuremberg and it won’t work at Dictator for Life Jabba’s trial

7 days ago

JB is gorging on his own power like it was fried food at the state fair!

Laurie McWilliams
7 days ago

Will the federal government allow this to occur in America! Will AG Barr step in….This is clearly anti Constitution and a clear signal of dictatorship on a level only seen in banana republics.

George
7 days ago

Given the sharp divisions now present, this reminds me of the sage words of one our State’s brothers. Good advice and something for all of us to think about. “Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall —… Read more »

I will fight for #OurFreedoms,🇺🇸
All of Our Freedoms🇺🇸 and especially Our
#FreedomOfSpeech🇺🇸 which must be preserved and defended.

#OurConstitution🇺🇸 must be followed, and #WeThePeople🇺🇸 are responsible for ensuring that no one treads on #US🇺🇸

#UnitedWeStandDividedWeFail🇺🇸

Please share your thoughts with your Illinois Representatives NOW!

Kenneth Joseph Yerkes🇺🇸
#DoctorY😷
#DocY🤔

#PeopleAndPrinciplesOverMoneyAndPower

Mike Williams
7 days ago

Wirepoints, are you sure you still don’t want to endorse the general concept of leaving Illinois asap? It’s worse than broke, it ignores basic rights, and has no realistic plan to fix anything. Wirepoints reputation will not be diminished for finally stating the obvious conclusion. Lacking that, how about an article with the title, “Leave vs Stay” where you take your best guess as what Illinois will look like in 5 years.

Mike Williams
7 days ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Then my mistake. Sorry.

Brad
6 days ago
Reply to  Mike Williams

Left IL for AZ and not looking back. I am in the top 1% of taxpayers. They say that the states are small experiments that can develop new ideas for our country. IL has blue pills as far as the eye can see. How is that working out for you? This is how blue pills work, so you know how the experiment ends. The only solution is to quit picking the blue pill or leave the trial. If you leave IL, please leave your left political agendas behind so other states do not become infected. You can’t lower your own… Read more »

Amy Smith
7 days ago

We must stand up for our rights. He needs to go!! We can not let this man run our state into the ground.

Kevin
7 days ago

Far as I’m concerned, it is not legal. He didn’t go through the State Legislature.

James
7 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

That’s the crux of it, isn’t it? Does he have the power to make these decisions unilaterally or not. Most likely he does (to a limited extent at least) and has legal advice saying so.

debtsor
7 days ago
Reply to  James

For 30 days only. He’s making it clear this is a power grab. Otherwise he would have asked the legislature to extend his shutdown. He did not. He quite literally seized control

DixonSyder
3 days ago
Reply to  debtsor

You are a Jack off. Eat poo and die

Erik
7 days ago

“Or a governor who concludes that global warming is a major death threat justifying emergency powers?”

That’s a scary question. Could he also invoke emergency powers in the face of a fiscal disaster?

James
7 days ago
Reply to  Erik

The answer to that would vary depending upon how it was created, don’t you think? Some things should be reasonably foreseeable even if being a remote possibility. Then, there are some situations that are seen well in advance but with little to no attempt at correction. That second case is entirely different, I think, as far as answering your question.

Suzanne Vanderhyden
7 days ago

It’s all about the bailout. As he sits in Wisconsin.

Suzanne Vanderhyden
7 days ago

It’s all about the bailout.

UnclePugsly
7 days ago

Illinois is now entering it’s darkest days…

Illinois Entrepreneur
7 days ago

I hate to break this to everyone, but this is nothing new. Illinois Democrats (and bureaucrats in state agencies) have ALWAYS treated business owners this way. You should see the letters we get, with the over-the-top threats and condescension. They do not treat us business owners like peers or provide any modicum of respect. They act as if we are their subjects, and that we must obey each and every diktat that comes out of Springfield and Chicago without question or debate. And when you make a phone call to the state, or have a dispute with them, they are… Read more »

James
7 days ago

Yes, I don’t doubt it. But, from their point of view giving a favor to one caller who likely has friends elsewhere gives them more grief later. Don’t forget, the ones you are talking to are not the deciders of how things work. Thier job is to carry out policies and do so with as little atitude toward favoritism as possible or “policy” becomes meaningless. If you had that kind of job you’d likelly do likewise or take the risk of whatever comes your way from your superiors. You need to direct your complaints to the “generals” rather than the… Read more »

debtsor
7 days ago
Reply to  James

It’s not about favoritism. It’s about common decency and respect.

James
7 days ago
Reply to  debtsor

“Yes” ideally, but often “no” in reality much of the time. When one guy has a potitive response to a complaint to another guy who got a negative reply when (thinking) he made the same exact complaint, the latter guy is bound to think of it as favoritism when describing his anger to his wife or friend. The guy who had to make that decision is alwys the “idiot” to the second guy when the second guy didn’t understand the reasoning behind them getting different responses. Happens all the time!

Illinois Entrepreneur
7 days ago
Reply to  James

Sorry James, but you are way deep in the weeds. My examples are very specific, and related to a simple dispute of something being owed versus not. They assume that I’m wrong, and wont’ look any deeper into it. They don’t care.

I’m very educated in finance and accounting matters, and even when presented with proof of what I’m saying, they still wouldn’t do anything but refer me to someone else.

These people do not solve problems; they create them.

James
7 days ago

Okay. Thanks for clarifying your comment.

DixonSyder
4 days ago
Reply to  debtsor

Get a life loser. Spend some time doing something with your family maybe they wont hate you so much for being a total failure. Quit that job as the fry maker at Burger King. WalMart is hiring people to sanitize carts.

debtsor
4 days ago
Reply to  DixonSyder

Now you’re shaming low wage employees of private companies who can’t get the same lavish pension as you? You truly are a POS DixonSyder. A real POS. You wonder why we dislike you. Now you know.

DixonSyder
3 days ago
Reply to  debtsor

Your dog hates you, kids hate you, neighbors hate you. You are a total failure. PAY ME LOSER!

DixonSyder
3 days ago
Reply to  debtsor

You’re favorite is little boys. You are a disgrace to humanity.

Illinois Entrepreneur
7 days ago
Reply to  James

Um, I never ask for “favors.” I know that won’t happen, even if I did. All I ask is for is a little leg work to be done, and for them to look at what I’m saying. There was one situation in particular that involved tax filings, and they wouldn’t spend any time on it. Instead, they just sent a bill and said there was nothing else to do. They don’t even want to the basic work. They tell you to call someone else. I’ve actually had two departments tell me to call the other department, repeatedly, because no one… Read more »

Douglas
8 days ago

I know a certain big guy who’s been hanging out with the governor of Michigan, and getting ideas from her….

MikeH
7 days ago
Reply to  Douglas

And she’s been getting ideas from Newsome, who’s been getting ideas from Cuomo…..

Matt
8 days ago

Thanks for your reporting and calling out of the governor on this. I’m a Democrat though votes for Rauner due to my concerns about unchecked single party rule. Pritzker’s efforts in March and April to ramp up PPE and testing above that of our neighbors was admirable. However, he’s behaving with the caution of a trust fund billionaire with health issues at this present time. Given that the infection curve is flattened, so much of what we do next is subjective. Disparaging others who question your plan as “ignoring science and data” and being heavy handed just show his level… Read more »

Stevet
8 days ago
Reply to  Matt

So you are ok with his tyranny well im not. Pritzker sucks.

Matt
7 days ago
Reply to  Stevet

Did you read my comment? TLDR: Pritzker is power drunk. Covid’s not going away so he can’t have emergency powers the next decade.

Kevin
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt

I don’t care who does it. What Pritzker is doing is wrong. Even if Rauner was doing this, I would complain about it.