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Constitutional argument or a shakedown?

Thursday, Aug 25, 2011

* The Illinois General Assembly passed a bill which Governor Pat Quinn signed into law that barred the Illinois State Police from releasing the names of FOID card holders. The Associated Press asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan to help pry the information loose and her office ruled that the names should be released.

The Illinois State Rifle Association filed suit earlier this year, but you’d think the lawsuit would now be rendered moot by the new law. Instead, ISRA is pressing ahead with its suit, even though they have a new law and the AP was dismissed yesterday as a defendant. The only remaining defendant is the Illinois State Police, which, ironically enough, supported the gun group’s position on the FOID card names.

The Rifle Association claims it wants the court to establish a constitutional precedent

The Illinois State Rifle Association wants to continue the lawsuit in hopes a judge will eventually establish an unassailable constitutional right to keep the ID-card data secret, the group’s attorney, Stanley Tucker, said Wednesday.

“Theoretically, a future legislature could reverse (the new law)” said Tucker, speaking after a Circuit Court hearing in Peoria on the matter. “We will be pushing for a ruling on constitutional grounds for that reason.”

* But Jim Thompson, who is representing the Illinois State Police, pointed to another reason for keeping the suit alive

“They want us to pay (court) costs and we don’t want to pay costs,” he added. “That’s the only disagreement.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - shore - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 12:02 pm:

    I don’t see why people who own guns have to have their names printed. Madigan should find better things to do.

  2. - just sayin' - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 12:03 pm:


    Guys, when you start making Big Jim look like the victimized one, you’ve gone over the line with sleazy lawyerism.

    Declare victory and stop trying to milk the thing.

  3. - x ace - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 12:12 pm:

    Big Jim Thompson against lawyers getting paid ???

    Did the pro bono defense of our former Gov twist his thinking ?

  4. - Buerhle Fan - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    No one likes a sore winner. They should drop the suit and move along.

  5. - DeKalb Dragon - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    “But judges,” he continued, “are often reluctant to ground their opinions in the constitution when a relevant law is in place.”

    Not just reluctant. The Illinois Supreme Court has directed that constitutional issues should be avoided by courts if a case can be disposed of on nonconstitutional grounds.

  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 12:51 pm:

    Off topic, but in follow-up to some of the comments made in the “Judge rules that Daley can be sued in alleged torture cover-up case”.

    IMHO the emphasis on “not overseas” and “not foreign countries” was interesting and appropriate.

  7. - The Cardinal - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 2:48 pm:

    The AG and Press Assoc should be on the hook for the ISRA legal fees. What a ridiculous FOIA and AG decision to uphold the FOIA. They played a game with law abiding gun owners or FOID card holders and got beat. Time to pony up. What ever happened to PRIVACY within ones own home.

  8. - walkinfool - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 2:49 pm:

    Let’s not forget the fundraising opportunities associated with keeping the case alive.

  9. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 2:49 pm:

    ===and got beat.===

    No, they didn’t. At least, not in a courtroom.

  10. - Logic not emotion - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 3:03 pm:

    I agree with the ISRA following through. The legislature could certainly change and the costs which ISRA incurred should be reimbursed.

  11. - DTOM - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 3:09 pm:

    The fact the having a FOID card meant that we had to fight for our right to stay anonymous shows how silly the entire process is. Anyone who thinks that FOID cards are about anything other than revenue and regulation should rethink their position. Why is it that in Illinois I can’t own a gun without worrying about whether or not people can access that information. This wouldn’t even had been an issue if there wasn’t a FOID card to begin with.

  12. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 3:19 pm:

    - Anyone who thinks that FOID cards are about anything other than revenue and regulation should rethink their position. -

    Yeah, that $10 I shell out every 5 years is really keeping Illinois’ roads paved with gold. Take a breath dude.

  13. - DTOM - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 3:25 pm:

    $10 plus time consumed filling out the application and paying another $15 for a valid picture ID for state comparison. Not to mention that the FOID card isn’t a valid form of state ID.

    $1.3 million FOID card carriers times $10 is $13 million dollars every five years. And it isn’t even an issue about money more than it is about Constitutional rights. Open your eyes dude.

  14. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 3:39 pm:

    - And it isn’t even an issue about money more than it is about Constitutional rights. -

    Why don’t you convince your pals to take the constitutionality of FOID cards to the Supremes? Maybe then you would finally understand that a constitutional right doesn’t mean an unregulated right.

    And if you think the state puts up with gun nutters crying for $2.3 million a year in a $33 billion budget, you not only need to open your eyes, I’d strongly recommend getting them checked out as well.

  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 3:44 pm:

    What Constitutional right is being violated by requiring an FOID card?

  16. - DTOM - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 3:49 pm:

    Tell the Illinois State Police that you are going to cut an $2.2 million from their annual budget and see what kind of response you get. Try cutting $2.2 million from any Deparments operating budget and see how far you get. The Supreme Court has better issues to tackle than how Illinois fleeces its populace with random taxes and fees. What happens is people will just choose to move out of the state…which is happening already. Pretty good policy considering 87% of the states revenue is generated from personal income.

  17. - DTOM - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 4:03 pm:

    I’m not going to get into a Constitutional argument on a Capitol Fax message board about the Constitutionality of making those who own firearms public information.

    You can regulate it all you want, but we should be clear about what the intent of the regulation is. Is it lower crime rates? Regulation to keep guns out of the hands of those who might not be in the state of mind to purchase a gun? Revenue?

    These are all valid reasons but don’t get upset when people cry foul because they feel like they are being picked out for abiding by a law that they don’t feel is warranted. Maybe there needs to be another discussion about the reasoning behind the FOID card and if it is serving the purpose it was intended for back in 1968.

  18. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 4:08 pm:

    ====Try cutting $2.2 million from any Deparments operating budget and see how far you get.===

    You must’ve been asleep this past spring.

  19. - sal-says - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 4:30 pm:

    Let’s make more attys. Apparently, you can never have too many lawsuits.

  20. - Anonononon - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 4:38 pm:

    I saw the uproar about cutting spending this spring! They wouldn’t have cut a thing if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

    I’m thinking if they tried to do away with FOID cards the first argument against it would be, “we will lose x amount of jobs because of this cut” and not “how will people sleep safely at night knowing that Illinois doesn’t require law abiding citizens to register with the state to own a gun?” I mean, Illinois is ranked 13th in violent crime rates according to…not exactly the best argument for FOID cards keeping crime rates down.

  21. - wishbone - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 10:23 pm:

    Big Jim is a “best friend” to George Ryan. That says it all.

  22. - wishbone - Thursday, Aug 25, 11 @ 10:27 pm:

    “gun nutters”
    C’mon Rich, rules are rules.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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