Illinois governor lifts restrictions on churches after legal battles

Chicago News USA

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

Chicago churches claimed “victory” Thursday when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted the restrictions on houses of worship, after Mayor Lori Lightfoot fined churches for defying orders.

Pritzker’s new coronavirus orders, which are no longer mandatory for houses of worship, make the churches’ emergency request with the Supreme Court moot.

The new recommended guidance was issued by the state department of health.

CHICAGO’S TOP COP SUGGESTS STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS CONTRIBUTED TO MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND VIOLENCE

Liberty Counsel, the legal non-profit representing Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries in court, said the change is a “complete victory in the near term.”

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker answers questions from the media during his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from his office at the Illinois State Capitol, May 22, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool)

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker answers questions from the media during his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from his office at the Illinois State Capitol, May 22, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool)

“The only thing that changed was he was dragged to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said in a news release. “While we are happy that all churches and houses of worship no longer have any restrictions, we want to make sure this tyranny and abuse never happens again.”

MARYLAND COUNTY WALKS BACK ON COMMUNION BAN AFTER CATHOLIC BACKLASH

Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago, Ill., held a service May 10, in defiance of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic as states begin to reopen. (Liberty Counsel)

Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago, Ill., held a service May 10, in defiance of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic as states begin to reopen. (Liberty Counsel)

A similar case was brought forth on Tuesday by South Bay Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, Calif.

FREE ABORTIONS, PRE-K SEX ED: CONSERVATIVES BLAST BOISE MAYOR’S TRANSITION REPORT AS ‘SOCIALIST WISH LIST’

On Monday, Calfornia Gov. Gavin Newsom announced churches could reopen but they would be limited to 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less, but only with the approval of local officials.

Still, Bishop Arthur Hodges is moving forward to the Supreme Court. “We still have a problem here because that is clear discrimination against churches because no other enterprise in California has those restrictions placed on them, only churches. This is a clear violation of our constitutional rights to free exercise in assembly,” Hodges said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

In a 2-1 decision last week, California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in Newsom’s favor against the South Bay United Pentecostal Church.

Fox News’ Shannon Bream, Bill Mears, and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report. 

Leave a Reply