Judge rules that Pritzker can block evictions during pandemic
Judge John C. Anderson joined other judges who have upheld Pritzker’s authority to govern the State of Illinois through the COVID-19 pandemic by recently ruling in favor of Pritzker’s eviction moratorium during the pandemic regardless of the economic devastation caused to landlords.
The lawsuit was brought on my landlords in the Chicago suburbs and Rockford who feel Pritzker overstepped his authority by forcing landlords to shoulder the burden of their tenants’ rents for months. Pritzker has previously stated the moratorium will last only until a rent assistance program is established in Illinois. Attorneys for the state reassured Judge Anderson that the program should be up-and-running by September.
Judge Anderson sided mostly with Pritzker citing both United States and Illinois Supreme Court rulings that allow Pritzker to utilize “police powers” to ultimately protect its residents. Judge Anderson felt the landlords’ rights to evict non-paying tenants were merely delayed and not removed completely. He wrote, “The Governor has broad discretion here, and the Court will not micromanage the Governor’s placement of weight on one policy concern over another.”
Judge Anderson did set the case up for appeal by asserting questions related to Pritzker’s ability to issue successive disaster declarations and executive orders so that his ruling and interpretation of the law is not misconstrued to minimize harm landlords and businesses have faced. While attorneys for the landlord did not comment in detail, they will most likely appeal.
The moratorium, released in March after the state mandated shut down, is currently in effect until August 22, 2022.