Suit filed to Stop Term Limits, Redistricting Ballot Questions

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Suit Alleges Term Limits and Independent Commissions for Redistricting Are “Unconstitutional”

Illinois State Capitol in Springfield {| cells...

Illinois State Capitol in Springfield (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illinois attorney Michael Kasper has filed a suit to block term limits and independent ballot initiatives to prevent them from seeing the light of day, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Kasper filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court on Tuesday, the day before the term limit initiative officially submitted more than 500,000 signatures in Springfield, contending the two questions are unconstitutional.

The proposed term limit amendment, the suit alleges, was already decided by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1994 as unconstitutional.

“The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a proposal to impose term limits on members of the General Assembly does not meet the ‘structural and procedural’ requirement of article XIV, section 3,” the suit said. The suit also alleges the veto override portion of the question, increasing the number of votes required to override the veto of the governor, constitutes an invalid transfer of power from the General Assembly to the Executive Branch.

For the remap question, the suit states the requirement that anyone who would serve on the 11-member independent council could not serve in a state-wide, legislative or judicial position for a decade, improperly adjusting the qualifications for public office and exceeding the scope for petition drives.

Kaspar’s suit was filed on behalf of a group of businessmen and non-profit leaders including the former CEO of Commonwealth Edison; the CEO of Chicago-based East Lake Management & Development; and the president of construction management firm R.M. Chin & Associates. Kaspar is a former advisor to Madigan and has served on the leadership of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Spokesmen for both ballot initiatives said they had anticipated the suits and are confident they will win in court.

“Illinois citizens across all spectrums are demanding change in Springfield and want a return to real public service by citizen legislators and an end to the era of career politicians in Springfield,” said Mark Campbell of Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits in an email to Crain’s Chicago Business.

“Our coalition is confident that the independent maps proposal meets the structural and procedural requirements to amend the Illinois Constitution,” said Michael Kolenc of Yes for Independent Maps, also in an email to Crain’s.

The full suit is available in PDF by visiting this link and scrolling to the bottom of the story.

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Justin Shimko

Justin Shimko is an award-winning writer and political analyst. He began as a reporter in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, writing for The Oklahoma Daily (rated as one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation) and The Oklahoman, the statewide newspaper, winning awards from the CSPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. He later moved on to research and writing work for a number of political campaigns. His email is [email protected]

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