(The Center Square) – With the latest lawsuit against vaccine and testing mandates coming from dozens of corrections employees, the attorney carrying the case worries elections could get in the way of bringing finality to the issue.
Attorney Thomas DeVore has secured temporary restraining orders against COVID-19 vaccine or testing mandates in schools, including Chicago Public Schools. The orders only apply to plaintiffs in those cases.
DeVore said the cases are far from decided, regardless of the issuance of temporary restraining orders.
“The legislature won’t solve these problems, they could, so the courts are going to have to solve it,” DeVore said. “We’re going to have some inconsistencies and have rulings on one side, rulings on the other, I guess the [Illinois] Supreme Court gonna have to resolve this but again with them it’s an election year too, so they probably won’t be too excited at hearing these cases either. It’s unfortunate.”
For the case with parents suing schools over mask and exclusion mandates, DeVore said the number of plaintiffs has grown to nearly 1,600 parents.
“They have to be resolved. The people have to have some understanding,” DeVore told WMAY. “So, we’re going to come back to the court. We’re going to get final rulings on these cases, however the courts want to rule, and there’s probably going to be rulings that are inconsistent.”
Using the argument that vaccines and testing are a form of quarantine that can’t be forced on someone, DeVore filed a case on behalf of 46 employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections Thursday. The case is now expected to be heard Monday in Christian County.
In separate cases DeVore is not involved in challenging vaccine mandates by several public employers, the Fourth District Court of Appeals Thursday ruled mandates are within an employer’s purview.
“The threatened penalty for noncompliance with the vaccination or testing requirement is merely the loss of employment, not quarantine or isolation,” the majority opinion said. “To be fired is not to be quarantined or isolated from the community at large.”
DeVore disagreed that’s the case for public employers.
“Private employers have a lot more discretion,” DeVore said. “They can put a lot more workplace conditions in their environment. But, again, with public bodies, they don’t have that broad discretion. They only have what the law gives them.”