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Bailey v. Pritzker returns to Clay County Thursday

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Rep. Darren Bailey's court battle against Gov. JB Pritzker will return to Clay County Thursday afternoon.

The Xenia Republican is cutting his Florida vacation short to make it back to court. However, Bailey's spokesman says he won't get tested for COVID-19 "on the advice of his doctor." Jose Durbin explained Bailey has no symptoms and stayed in Florida less than 48 hours. Bailey's Attorney, Tom DeVore, says he won't get tested either. "I'm feeling fine and don't see a need for a test."

DeVore hopes Clay County Judge Michael McHaney will enter a final ruling that Pritzker's executive orders can no longer be in effect. Bailey is also asking for the judge's opinion on the governor's authority to close businesses and limit gatherings of people.

"Should he agree and do what we want, tomorrow night those limitations would not be in effect and people could have their businesses open," DeVore said. "That executive order would have been deemed invalid."

The Illinois Attorney General's office, representing Pritzker, will likely ask for an appeal if McHaney sides with Bailey.

History in Clay County

McHaney has ruled in Bailey's favor during two previous court appearances. While Pritzker's stay-at-home order is no longer in effect, DeVore feels his argument is just as valid when addressing the phased plan to reopen the state's economy. The governor has explained any region of the state could move back to a previous phase of Restore Illinois with a surge of COVID-19 cases.

"We do not have executive officers or heads of administrative agencies dictating to people unilaterally. And if you don't agree with them they're going to punish you," DeVore exclaimed. "That has to come to an end."

The Illinois Attorney General's office is not commenting on the case at this time. A spokesperson explained they are waiting to see the outcome in court.

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Mike Miletich

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