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If Rauner is re-elected in 2018, Republicans will have 50-50 chance to draw the next legislative district map
The Illinois Supreme Court this week tossed the Independent Map Amendment, saying it’s unconstitutional. But the court hinted that an amended version might make it next time.
The 4-3 decision found Democratic state supreme court justices in agreement that the Independent Map Amendment exceeded the narrow requirements for citizen-led initiatives to the change the Illinois Constitution.
The problem, they wrote, was that the proposed amendment defined a role for the Illinois Auditor General in its independent map-drawing process. Citizen-led initiatives can only seek to change the structure and procedure of the General Assembly, and the majority ruled that including an official from outside the Legislature violated the constitution’s clause on citizen initiatives.
Republican Justice Bob Thomas issued a scathing dissent:
“Today, just as a critical election board deadline is about to expire, four members of our court have delivered, as a fait accompli, nothing less than the nullification of a critical component of the Illinois Constitution of 1970. In direct contradiction of the clear and unambiguous intention of the people who drafted the constitution and the citizens who voted to adopt it, the majority has irrevocably severed a vital lifeline created by the drafters for the express purpose of enabling later generations of Illinoisans to use their sovereign authority as a check against self-interest by the legislature. When the Reporter of Decisions sends out the majority’s disposition, he should include a bright orange warning sticker for readers to paste over article XIV, section 3, of their personal copies of the 1970 Constitution reading, ‘Out of Service.'”
However, if the current, political map-drawing system remains in effect and Gov. Bruce Rauner is re-elected in 2018, the Democrats who so strongly opposed redistricting reform could hand the Republicans the pen to draw the next map in 2021.
We explain how that could happen and what’s next for redistricting reform on this week’s “Only in Illinois.”
Illinois has had a tough year– a budget impasse, a continuing pension funding crisis and several political scandals are among the year’s top stories. But it’s not all bad. Really.…
Illinois Supreme Court
Independent Map Amendment
Matthew Dietrich is Reboot's Editor. Dietrich is the former editorial page editor of the State Journal-Register in Springfield. Madeleine Doubek is Reboot's publisher. She previously managed the Daily Herald newsroom.