By Illinois Review
In a serious blow to Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s assault weapons ban, the 5th District Appellate Court affirmed on Tuesday Effingham County’s Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), and goes beyond the original 866 plaintiffs in the original lawsuit, and is now binding against all courts statewide.
The lawsuit is based on alleged violations of the Illinois Constitution. One alleged violation is the Equal Protection Clause, because the Assault Weapons Ban provides exemptions for certain groups – for instance, active and retired law enforcement are exempted from the ban, as well as active military and private security guards.
Retired military, however, much like the general population, are not exempted from the ban. DeVore argues that these exemptions create unconstitutional classes of citizens where legislators have decided who is subject to the ban and who is not.
The Equal Protection argument was enough for the Appellate Court to affirm Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison’s TRO.
Last Wednesday, White County Judge T. Scott Webb heard arguments from representatives of Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, and from Tom DeVore, who is representing over 1,600 plaintiffs, including former Illinois State Senator and Republican nominee for governor Darren Bailey; 68 federal firearms dealers and 92 counties, saying the case is “under advisement” and that he would issue a ruling after further review.
However, this Appellate Court ruling will also bind Judge Webb, and will force him to issue a TRO.
A link to the mandate can be accessed here.
Please continue to follow Illinois Review and DeVore Law Offices for more updates as they become available.
UPDATE: Feb. 1, 2023, 8:40 am
Illinois Review originally ran this article with a headline stating that the Appellate Court’s mandate was effective statewide. We immediately revised the headline to clarify our position on the state of the law, which is that the mandate is binding on trial courts throughout Illinois on the Equal Protection issue for which the Temporary Restraining Order was entered by the Effingham County judge and now affirmed by the Appellate Court, 5th District. This is a position shared by former Republican AG candidate Thomas DeVore, who filed the lawsuit. As we have reported, DeVore recently filed a second case in White County, and our position shared by DeVore is that the Appellate Court’s mandate directs the White County judge to enter a TRO on the basis that Pritzker’s Assault Weapons Ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution. DeVore is now preparing a third lawsuit to be filed on the same grounds.
We appreciate that there is a lot of pushback on this issue, because many in the media have a vested interest in protecting Gov. Pritzker and the Democrats who hastily pushed the Assault Weapons Ban through the General Assembly. We also appreciate that there are various other pending lawsuits challenging the Assault Weapons Ban based on grounds other than violation of the Equal Protection Clause. No TROs have been entered in any of those lawsuits.