IL. (ECWd) –
I must first give a shout out to Griffin High School in Springfield, Illinois, now Sacred Heart-Griffin. If there is one thing I remember so vividly during my high school days, it was my history and civics classes. It included not only the key foundational points of our Constitution, but actual applications of the teaching through things such as a mock trial in a real courtroom and reporting based on facts, not opinions.
That experience taught me an important lesson, which is you must know your rights, how they are protected, and why it is so important to speak up when things are wrong.
March 15th, 2020 we knew what our Illinois Governor was pushing was wrong. We threw the red flag so that others could learn the truth and provided the actual laws that should have been followed. We urge everyone to read that article at this link. We nailed it!
Fast forward to the current time and we see judges applying the Illinois Administrative Code as it relates to mask mandates by schools. Many schools failed to stand up for the rule of law. Instead, most acquiesced to the tyrannical intimidation doled out by the Governor and the Illinois State Board of Education and ignored the fact those two state entities had no authority nor enforcement power to do what they were doing. How ironic that in April of 2020, we told the world that the Administrative Code, as it relates to the then-Pandemic, is the rule of the land in this article. We nailed it!
While at the time of the above article the key subject matter was business closures, the application of the Administrative Code is no different when it comes to schools, kids, and quarantines.
April 29th, 2020 we once again warned everyone about the importance of due process in this article and how we would see this issue come to courtrooms across the country. We nailed it!
While we do take pride in knowing we provided the proper educational information on how the above matters should have been dealt with, I think the bigger message is you don’t have to be an attorney to understand the law and stand up for your rights when your local government oversteps their authority.
When some local official tells me I have to wear a mask, my pushback is not about whether a mask does or does not work. It’s about the key question people must start demanding an answer to, which is what authority is given to you to tell me to do x,y,z.
What we have learned over the last 11 years of watchdogging is that a lot of local government attorneys are more along the lines of paper pushers and advocates for whatever the client wants to do. For the few that have courtroom litigation experience, they have no problem giving questionable advice that results in more billable hours. And for the record, there are some great local government attorneys that we have come across so no, not all attorneys are bad, just most of them.
An example of questionable advice can be found in Windsor School District last week. Even after two courts in the very same circuit found the schools could not issue a mask mandate, the School Board suspended a teacher for not wearing a mask and the attorney was present the entire time. We have been told their position was the cases did not apply to their school. We agree cases against other schools do not make it case law statewide, but when you can clearly see the results being obtained, day after day, why would you not recognize your policy is subject to the same type of lawsuit and take steps to correct it rather than expose yourself to a lawsuit?
While we published the definition of quarantine clear back in April of 2020, we are excited to see the definition finally being applied as it is written. Examples of that can be found in articles here, here, here and we suspect in many other courtrooms across the state in the coming months.
What happens when the people push back against government action? The government takes steps to change the law or rules. It would not surprise me to see the definition of quarantine changed because that is the Illinois way. When the government is caught breaking the law, the pattern is to change it to make their bad actions legal with the stroke of a pen. Break the law, change the law.
As we move forward, please remember we told you so!