Shops shuttered in Los Angeles, California due to the coronavirus pandemic. | Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
The DOJ is questioning the legal authority of top officials in California and Illinois to extend stay-at-home orders.
The Department of Justice has weighed in on stay-at-home orders in Illinois and California — and has warned officials in both states that the federal government believes they may be exceeding their legal authority with their current means of containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Justice Department’s signals — a statement of interest backing a lawsuit against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s lockdown order, and letters to both Los Angeles officials and California’s governor — are part of an initiative announced last month by Attorney General William Barr meant to monitor and take legal action against any state or local ordinances that represent an “overbearing infringement of constitutional