Where Does the Governor Get the Authority to Shut Down the State?
By Roger German
Governor J. B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are not above the Illinois Constitution because of a declared emergency.
The Illinois Constitution grants neither the governor nor the IDPH the authority to suspend the Bill of Rights in the Illinois Constitution. The Illinois Constitution grants neither the governor nor the IDPH emergency powers to deny citizens their constitutionally protected rights. The governor has no lawful authority aside from what is granted by the Illinois State Constitution. Also, the IDPH does not wield more power than what the governor is granted constitutionally. The powers delegated by the Illinois Constitution to the Illinois governor are defined and limited. Nowhere in the Illinois Constitution did “we the people” grant the governor an emergency power that allows him to suspend the Illinois Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
The Illinois General Assembly cannot by way of a state statute lawfully grant the governor additional through an emergency powers act. To do so violates the Illinois State Constitution, and enacting law that runs contrary to the Illinois Constitution makes that law null and void.
If the Illinois General Assembly could grant additional powers to the governor willy-nilly, then what would be the point of a separation of powers, and of checks and balances? If a state legislature could grant power not constitutionally granted to the governor, then what would stop a state legislature from making the governor a monarch?
The governor seems to believe that because he was elected, he has an intrinsic right to do what he wants regardless of what power the Illinois Constitution delegates to him. Only citizens possess intrinsic rights, and those rights are constitutionally protected from government abuse. Governments only have constitutionally granted power and authority, not unalienable rights. There exists no constitutional authority for the governor to unilaterally mandate stay-at-home mandates and closures of so-called non-essential businesses–including churches–because of an alleged emergency.
Some may wonder what the governor’s executive orders permit him to do. The governor may not, by means of executive orders, exercise powers not granted to him by the Illinois State Constitution or by lawful acts of the Illinois General Assembly. The granting of executive order power to the governor is not a blank check giving him power to do whatever he wants. Article V, Section 8 of the Illinois State Constitution states, in part, that the governor shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws. By way of an executive order the governor has the obligation to implement the lawful acts of the Illinois General Assembly. The governor may make executive orders to carry out his constitutionally granted powers and duties, and he may address administrative issues within the executive branch by way of executive orders.
– The governor has not been granted emergency powers by the supreme state law, the Illinois Constitution.
– The governor and the IDPH have no lawful authority to suspend the Illinois Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
– The Illinois General Assembly has no constitutional authority to grant the governor more power.
– The granting of the executive power by the Illinois Constitution to the governor is not a blank check giving him power to do whatever he wants.
– The governor may not criminalize the use of the people’s constitutionally protected rights listed in the Illinois Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
Let’s hope law enforcement remembers that they swore an oath to uphold the constitution–not to be a personal army for the governor.