President Donald Trump appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to uphold the laws of the Constitution, but now it has come back to bite Republicans.
On Saturday Justice Kavanaugh denied an emergency appeal by the Illinois Republican Party who argued against the state’s governor’s order to not allow groups of more than 1 to gather, Fox News reported.
The Illinois Republican Party filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in mid-June after Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker permitted religious groups and protestors to convene in large gatherings. Political gatherings and rallies remain banned in the state due to the recent pandemic.
The request went to Kavanaugh based on geography alone. The Illinois Republican Party is continuing to push the lawsuit forward in the lower courts, but the Supreme Court will not be stepping in to permit political gatherings.
Kavanaugh, who received political backlash from the Democratic Party after being recommended for the seat by President Trump in 2018, has reportedly denied the request without comment, rather than refer the request to the full Supreme Court.
The lawsuit claims that “in-person contact is the most persuasive form of communicating ideas” and the restrictions infringe on their First and 14th Amendment rights.
“Democrats in the state hold almost every lever of power, and the only thing providing a check on their power, the Illinois Republican Party, isn’t even allowed to get together to meet or to properly plan and network for an election [that] is only five months away,” Tim Schneider, Illinois Republican Party Co-Chairman, said to the Chicago Times in June.
“This is fundamentally wrong, and as this lawsuit contends, a violation of our First Amendment right,” he said.
He said that the governor appearing at Black Lives Matter protests showed the hypocrisy of the governor’s order.
But Gov. Pritzker said that attending the Black Lives Matter rally was his First Amendment right as an American.
The governor also allowed several religious gatherings after lawsuits were filed in May, stating that in person worship is an “essential activity.”
“There simply is no substitute for the energy, enthusiasm, personal connections to a candidate and media coverage generated by a rally, a bus tour or a fly-around,” the lawsuit said. “Politics is a people business and it is most effective when people connect in person.”
Matt Podgorski, the chairman of the Northwest Side GOP Club, said that Republicans will respect Justice Kavanaugh’s decision when he spoke to The Washington Examiner.
“For now, the Northwest Side GOP Club will respect Justice Kavanaugh‘s denial of an emergency injunction,” he said.
“Our case and our plea are very straightforward. The governor of Illinois is arbitrarily picking and choosing which parts of the First Amendment he wants to protect and which he wants to violate,” he said. “His executive order denies the Northwest Side GOP Club of both our 1st Amendment rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of (political) speech in the form of political activity and our 14th Amendment rights of equal protection under the law.”
Schaumburg Township Republican Committeeman Joseph Folisi, another plaintiff in the case, said they were disappointed.
“We are obviously disappointed that we did not receive the temporary injunction we were seeking. Nonetheless, our attorneys are proceeding with the lawsuit and will be filing a motion next week for an expedited briefing schedule in the 7th Circuit on the preliminary injunction,” he said.
“We believe that the governor’s orders are a significant infringement of our first amendment rights and that we will prevail in our lawsuit,” he said.