When a police officer comes to your house and asks for permission to search, he is asking for your consent. If you say no, what does the officer do? If the officer states, “I have the authority to go get a warrant and come back here and search without your consent,” what does this mean? It means that the officer lacks the power to compel you to open your door. If the officer had the authority, there would be no need for the additional step to seek a warrant.
Governor Pritzker has given numerous daily briefings. While he has urged voluntary compliance, he has also claimed that his executive orders are enforceable by law enforcement. Privately, the Governor and the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) have circulated enforcement memos. The three versions that I have come across all contain the following language, “Please be advised that your establishment is required to adhere to these Executive Orders, and that these steps are necessary and proper to prevent further spreading of COVID-19. This IDPH directive will apply to any subsequent Executive Orders…”
These memos haven’t been generally circulated to the 12 million residents of Illinois. A form of this memo was sent by the Stephenson County Health Department to the Beloved Church of Lena, presumably to compel compliance with the Governor’s executive orders.
You are “Required”
While this seems straight forward and uses the word “required,” what exactly does this mean? The answer can be found in the very next paragraph of the memos. “If you do not adhere to these Executive Orders, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Certified Local Health Departments have the authority, pursuant to the Department of Public Health Act (20 ILCS 2305/1-1.1 et seq.)… to order that a place be closed and made off limits to the public… The process of issuing such an order is set forth in 20 ILCS 2305/2(c). Furthermore, police officers, sheriffs and all other officers in Illinois are authorized to enforce such orders.”
To put this in the context of our illustration. Suppose an officer appears at your door and says, “You are required to let me in so that I can search your house.” If you say no and he truly has the authority to enter, then he will enter with or without your consent. If instead, the officer leaves to ask a judge to issue a warrant, then it becomes clear that the use of the word “require” was a lie calculated to trick you into surrendering your rights.
Governor Pritzker Knows his Stay-at-Home Order is Merely Advisory
This memo by governor Pritzker and IDPH acknowledges that the Executive Orders by themselves are not enforceable. If you disagree, IDPH is “authorized” to follow the procedures of the Illinois Department of Public Health Act, ILAC 690.1330 c) 2), which requires written notice of 11 separate factors, including the right to counsel, court appointed counsel if indigent, reason for the order, whether the order is immediate or time frame for the department to seek consent or file a petition for court order, and notice of anticipated duration. If you do not consent, the IDPH is required to bring you before a judge within 48 hours for a hearing where they must prove by clear and convincing evidence, that the public’s health and welfare are significantly endangered, that all other reasonable means have been exhausted, and that no less restrictive alternative exists.
The Illinois Administrative Code Renders the Stay-at-Home Order Advisory
Unless and until you have received personal service of such an order from IDPH or your local health department, the Executive Stay at Home Order is merely advisory. “Where there is no personal service of an order, the order shall be deemed an advisory directive and shall not trigger any rights of judicial review or be enforceable by law enforcement.” ILAC 690.1365 (e). The Governor and IDPH have intentionally failed to give the required notice and have lied to the citizens of Illinois about what is “required” in order to eliminate judicial review and in order to deprive us of our liberties.
Know your Rights
Whether it is advisable to shelter in place or to take certain health precautions is a decision that each of us must make for ourselves and our families. Illinois citizens deserve to receive honest and accurate information about this pandemic. The Governor, IDPH, local politicians and law enforcement are “REQUIRED” to follow the laws and regulations regarding quarantine/isolation and closures. They are “REQUIRED” to respect the limits placed upon them by the United States and State of Illinois Constitution.