Today, the Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court upheld one of four counts in Tom DeVore’s Effingham filing and the temporary restraining order DeVore won there. The appellate court tossed three counts from the TRO, citing that only the Illinois Supreme Court can consider whether or not the General Assembly legislative processes violate the Constitution. That part will have to be litigated and is unlikely to be successful they wrote. The appellate court also upheld the “equal protection” count where DeVore contested how different groups are treated differently in the bill, specifically the excluded categories.
The court ruling today is effective only for the 866ish named plaintiffs in the Effingham suit.
The Center Square has the story:
(The Center Square) – The state of Illinois is expected to ask for an expedited review by the Illinois Supreme Court after a temporary restraining order was upheld Tuesday against Illinois’ gun ban on behalf of 866 plaintiffs who sued in Effingham County.
Attorney Thomas DeVore won a TRO Jan. 20 against the ban on the sale of more than 170 semiautomatic handguns and rifle and certain magazines. The state appealed. The Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois on Tuesday dismissed three procedural counts DeVore brought against the law, but upheld the count alleging a violation of equal projections under the law because it exempts certain employees of law enforcement and security sectors from the new ban.
“One, this is not about [police] training, it has nothing to do with training, it doesn’t make any sense,” DeVore told The Center Square. “And to the extent it is about training, we have a right to then seek that training as well as citizens and not lose our right to purchase and possess and not register these weapons.”
The Illinois Attorney General’s office said it will seek the Illinois Supreme Court’s review of the ruling on an expedited schedule.
“The Protect Illinois Communities Act is an important tool in what must be a comprehensive approach to addressing gun violence throughout Illinois, and we remain committed to defending the statute’s constitutionality,” a spokesperson for Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office said.
State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, fought to get the law passed and said she’s still positive despite the setback.
Hey Maura: Better buy yourself some Kleenex, honey. Because you’re going to get a whole lot more negative before this is all set and done.
BOTTOM LINE: Don’t expect relief from this case, even if the judge grants a temporary restraining order for the 866-ish named plaintiffs. In my very IANAL “expert” opinion: I don’t see the Illinois Supreme Court to block the legislation based upon the arguments raised by DeVore and I’ll tell you why: They’ve been raised in the past and courts have been VERY RETICENT to tell another branch of government how to execute their jobs in terms of the mechanics of legislating. They’ll evaluate a statute, but they generally won’t intercede on the process that generated that legislation unless it’s over-the-top faulty. I’m not sure Illinois legislative rules are there yet.
So now I’ve learned why courts don’t intercede in the legislative process… because the Illinois Supreme Court is the only court with jurisdiction in that area. Or at least that’s the power they’ve given themselves. Meaning nothing will change unless things get a lot more problematic with them playing “fast and loose” with constitutional requirements in legislating.
I would think that DeVore would know that. Maybe he did know that, but just didn’t let on as though he didn’t to allow gun owners to foolishly believe they had a chance to overturn this established precedent in our state. Could his thinking have gone something like this? “Gimme your $200 and you’ll feel good for a week or two before the court swats this down.”
I imagine “sales” of real estate at the top of a lawsuit would decline precipitously if people know the truth on those counts.
As for equal protection, it’ll be interesting to see with the IL Supremes have to say. As the Center Square report above notes, Kwame’s asking for expedited review. Candidly, I thought the “equal protection” count seems the least compelling. We’ll see how the big jurists in Springfield look at it soon.
The judge in White County who held the hearing for the TRO there will probably tweak his decision in the wake of this ruling from the 5th. Frankly, I’d be shocked if it didn’t seem almost like a cut and paste.
DeVore’s a hotheaded jerk?
All I know is that I continue to get communication from folks who have nothing but poor things to say about Mr. Devore. People who I know and trust. Would I sign onto one of his suits? Eh, I’d rather donate to something that has a (lot) stronger chance of success for everyone. Hint: Don’t get him on the phone and ask pointed questions. Seems Tom doesn’t have a lot of patience with anyone has apprehension or distaste about the Kool Aid flavor of the day.
Also, on a personal note I was on a television show this evening and stated that today’s decision expanded the TRO to the entire state and to everyone. I relied on a (very) faulty ISRA announcement for that incorrect information. Shame on me for failing to verify their statement. I apologize to all involved. Lesson learned.
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.