By Illinois Review
On Wednesday morning, in an emergency hearing to discuss, what many are calling, an “unconstitutional” assault weapons ban, Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison heard arguments from representatives of Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, and from Tom DeVore, representing over 860 plaintiffs, saying he will issue a ruling by Friday.
Sources confirmed to Illinois Review that late last night, Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office attempted to delay the hearing by seeking substitution of assigned Judge Chad Miller. In response, Chief Judge Douglas Jarman reassigned the case to Judge Morrison, and the hearing proceeded as scheduled.
Earlier in the evening, sources also confirmed to Illinois Review that Raoul’s office asked for a one-week continuation, but that request was denied.
The hearing proceeded, ex parte (one side only), meaning a Judge can proceed without any representation from defendants. Ex parte is usually reserved for emergency purposes.
During the emergency hearing, representatives from the Attorney General’s office were present, attending on behalf of Gov. JB Pritzker, D, and Attorney General Raoul, D. However, the General Assembly and named defendants Speaker Chris Welch, D, and Senate President Don Harmon, D, were unrepresented at the hearing.
Former Republican nominee for Attorney General Thomas DeVore, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of over 860 plaintiffs, was also present at the hearing.
DeVore argued for roughly 25 minutes, while representatives from the Attorney General’s office spoke for more than 45 minutes.
The law “immediately prohibits the manufacturing, possession, delivery, sales, and purchase of assault weapons” with a few exceptions – if you are a police officer or you are in the military.
After the signing ceremony last week, Prtizker spoke to the press, where he had a stern warning for the conservative base across the state: there will be consequences for not following the law.
Days later, several law enforcement agencies said they would not enforce the gun ban, prompting Gov. Pritzker to issue another stern warning: police will be fired for not enforcing the new law.
The Illinois State Rifle Association – an organization that Democratic legislators did not consult with when drafting the bill, didn’t mix words either, sending out a simple statement hours before Pritzker signed the new bill into law, saying,
“Challenge accepted. The Illinois State Rifle Association will see the State of Illinois in court.”
And on Wednesday morning, the ISRA followed through on accepting that challenge, and officially filed a federal lawsuit.
Please continue to follow Illinois Review for more updates as they become available.