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Challenge To Ammendments

Thu, 01 May 2014 05:41:24 CDT
By: IPR's Amanda Vinicky

Two proposals to change the Illinois Constitution, which could have broad repercussions for how state government is run, will face a court challenge. As IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports, it hinges on a tricky legal argument:

Mike Kasper -- a prominent lobbyist, and attorney for the Democratic Party of Illinois, wasted no time. His lawsuit was late Tuesday -- before Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner submitted petitions to impose term limits on state legislators. And before another ballot initiative was even turned in. That one would strip lawmakers of the power to draw their own districts. The speed could be read as a sign of how eager Springfield's powers-that-be are to make sure citizens never get to vote on these citizen's initiatives. Although Kasper is the attorney for the Democratic Party of Illinois, a spokesman says the Party is not involved in this case.
The lawsuit argues both proposals fail the test for citizen initiatives in the Illinois Constitution. It says they're at once too narrowly crafted -- in that they don't seek to alter both "structural and procedural" aspects of the legislature -- but also that they'd go way too far. Rauner and the redistricting group say they anticipated those objections. The case is expected to be decided by the Illinois Supreme Court.

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