Kavanaugh denies request from Illinois Republicans to block rule barring gatherings of more than 50 people

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

(CNN) -- Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh denied a request from Illinois Republicans to block Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's rule that bars political rallies of more than 50 people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republicans had filed an emergency petition asking the court to rule before 6 p.m., ET on Saturday.

The Republicans argued the governor's rule violated the Constitution because it treated political rallies differently than church services or Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

According to the brief from Illinois Republicans filed with the court: "Though fighting COVID-19 is doubtless a compelling state interest, the Governor's policy fails narrow tailoring because it treats similarly situated speakers differently. The First and Fourteenth Amendments both guarantee equal treatment of similar speakers. Government may no more favor one particular speaker or category of speech than it may target one for disfavor. "

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