CHICAGO, IL – Yesterday, within a few hours after two Romanian churches filed an emergency injunction pending appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Kavanaugh ordered Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to respond by 8:00 p.m. tonight.
Liberty Counsel represents Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries.
The emergency request was occasioned because of the Chicago Department of Public Health letter sent to the churches this past Saturday, May 23.
The city is threatening closure and “summary abatement.” In the threatening letter, Commissioner Allison Arwady, who declared the churches a “public nuisance” for holding services with more than 10 people, wrote: “I am authorized to seek to enjoin such nuisance or to cause the same to be summarily abated in such manner as I may direct….” The letter ended by stating that “the City will take steps necessary to abate, including Summary Abatement.”
According to the Illinois Supreme Court, “Summary abatement would mean to put down or destroy without process. This means the inspector can, upon his own judgment, cause the alleged nuisance to stop on his own authority and effect a destruction of property at his discretion.” City of Kankakee v. New York Cent. R. Co., 387 Ill. 109, 116, 55 N.E.2d 87, 90 (1944).
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “No church or pastor should be treated by the heavy hand of government the way these Romanian churches and pastors are being treated. This is America, not the former Communist Romania from which these pastors and Romanian immigrants fled.”