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Friday, Nov 28, 2014
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5 months ago Chicago Tribune

The quick ruling by Cook County Judge Mary Mikva allows the appeals process to begin to determine whether the two proposals will appear before voters in November

From Chicago Tribune:

A Cook County judge ruled Friday that proposals that would impose term limits on lawmakers and require a more independent process to draw legislative districts were unconstitutional, paving the way for an expected challenge to be decided by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The quick ruling by Cook County Judge Mary Mikva allows the appeals process to begin to determine whether the two proposals will appear before voters on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Mikva said that in deciding previous cases, the Illinois Supreme Court’s “precedent dictates a very narrow provision for allowing the voters to directly enact amendments to the Illinois Constitution.”

Mikva ruled that “any term limits initiative appears to be outside what is permissible” under the state constitution and previous court rulings. She said term limits by themselves have been found not to affect “structural or procedural” changes in the legislature. She said adding other components, such as changing the number of senators and representatives “cannot save this initiative.”

The term limit drive was organized by Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner. It seeks to limit lawmakers to a total of eight years in office, increase the size of the 118-member House to 123 members and reduce the size of the 59-member Senate to 41 and impose a two-thirds vote of lawmakers to overturn a governor’s veto compared to the current three-fifths requirement.

As for the remap amendment, Mikva said "a differently drafted redistricting initiative could be valid," but the one submitted went beyond changing the structure and procedure of the General Assembly by limiting who could draw the new map lines.

The independent map effort, which has received bipartisan support, would create a five-step process for selecting an 11-member panel to draw new state legislative boundaries after the every-decade federal Census.

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