Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday denied an emergency appeal filed by Republican Illinois lawmakers who had argued against the governor’s restrictions on meeting in groups of more than 10 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Illinois Republican Party filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in mid-June after Democratic Governor JB Pritzker allowed religious groups and protesters to meet in large meetings. Political gatherings and protests remain banned in the state due to the recent pandemic.
The request went to Kavanaugh based only on geography. The Illinois Republican Party continues to push the lawsuit in lower courts, but the Supreme Court will not intervene to allow political meetings.
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Kavanaugh, who received a political backlash from the Democratic Party after being recommended by President Trump in 2018, has reportedly denied the request without comment, rather than forwarding the request to the full Supreme Court.
The lawsuit alleges that “in-person contact is the most persuasive way to communicate ideas” and that the restrictions violate your First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
“Democrats in the state have almost all the levers of power, and the only thing that provides control over their power, the Illinois Republican Party, is not even allowed to meet to meet or to plan and network for an election. [that] It’s only five months away, “Illinois Republican Party Co-Chair Tim Schneider told the Chicago Times last month.” This is fundamentally wrong, and as this lawsuit claims, a violation of our First Amendment right. “
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Schneider also said the governor’s appearance at various Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death is “incandescent hypocrisy in following his own orders.”
Pritzker has said that it is his First Amendment right to attend protests. It also allowed religious gatherings after several lawsuits were filed in May, reclassifying in-person worship as an “essential activity,” but has encouraged people to continue to attend services remotely.
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“There is simply no substitute for energy, enthusiasm, personal connections to a candidate, and the media coverage generated by a rally, a bus tour, or a flight,” the lawsuit says. “Politics is a people business and is most effective when people connect in person.”
Shannon Bream and Bill Mears of Fox News contributed to this report.