Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday denied an emergency appeal filed by Illinois GOP legislators who had argued against the governor’s restrictions to meet in groups larger than 10 am in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Illinois Republican Party filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in mid-June after Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker allowed religious groups and protesters to attend large gatherings. Political gatherings and rallies remain banned in the state because of the recent pandemic.
The request went to Kavanaugh based only on geography. The Republican Party in Illinois continues to push the mood forward in the lower courts, but the Supreme Court will not step in to allow political rallies.
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Kavanaugh, who received political backlash from the Democratic Party after being recommended for the seat by President Trump 2018, has reportedly rejected the request without comment, rather than referring the request to the Supreme Court.
The lawsuit claims that “personal contact is the most compelling form of communicating ideas” and the restrictions violate their first and 14th amendments.
“Democrats in the state have just about every power, and the only thing that gives control of their power, the Illinois Republican Party, is not even allowed to meet to meet or properly plan and network for a election [that] is only five months away, ”Tim Schneider, Illinois Republican Party chairman, told the Chicago Times last month. “This is basically wrong, and, as this lawsuit claims, a violation of our First Amendment right.”
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Schneider also said that the governor’s conduct at several demonstrations of Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s death is “glowing hypocrisy of following his own orders.”
Pritzker has said it is his first amendment right to participate in the protests. He also allowed religious gatherings after several lawsuit applications were made in May, and personally reclassified worship as a “significant business,” but he has encouraged people to continue to participate in the services remotely.
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“There is simply no substitute for energy, enthusiasm, personal connections to a candidate and media coverage generated by a rally, a bus ride or a fly-around,” the lawsuit says. “Politics is a public company and it is most effective when people join in person.”
Fox News’ Shannon Bream and Bill Mears contributed to this report.