Illinois gov. lifts restrictions on churches after Supreme Court challenge

by Jordyn Pair · May 29th, 2020 9:59 am

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has lifted all restrictions on the churches in the state after a challenge from the U.S. Supreme Court, issuing a set of guidelines instead.

Willie Wilson — a former Chicago mayoral candidate, community activist, and businessman — sent a letter to Washington, D.C., to ask for help from both President Trump and Attorney General William Barr in the dispute over whether Illinois churches should be able to open. Wilson cited charges from Chicago against local churches, as well as complained about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Wilson argued that if places selling alcohol are considered essential services, then churches should also be allowed to open.

"The problem with the mayor and also the governor is that they put themselves above the law," Wilson said. "And I understand this Sunday, they were supposed to give a ticket to the people who come to service. This is not China or the Soviet Union. This is America where we have rights."

Wilson has also offered to pay the fines of churches who are ticketed by the state for reopening.

Pritzker was ordered to respond to the churches by 8 p.m. on Thursday by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Just hours before the deadline, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a set of guidelines for churches, including suggesting meeting outdoors and holding services of less than 10 people. None of the guidelines are mandatory.


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