* From the Daily Herald editorial board…
Last week, a close ally of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan filed suit to challenge citizens initiatives to impose term limits on state legislators and to change the way legislative districts are drawn every 10 years.
We’re big fans of the remap referendum. We’ve editorialized on its behalf for months as a solution to the politicized way districts are drawn. We are not as enamored with the term limit referendum. We see some pros but also many cons.
But the important thing isn’t whether we like either initiative. The important thing is that the public has made clear its interest in putting these questions on the ballot.
It’s important also that the politically motivated suit against it was predictable. For a long time, the cynics have said — no way will Madigan and the politicians let these referendums happen.
The challenge only confirms that cynicism — and in doing so, spreads it further.
As Eric Zorn and I have already pointed out on multiple occasions, there are some legit constitutional questions about both of these petition drives. Those questions, in my opinion, do deserve a full hearing.
* However, it is beyond richly ironic that while Speaker Madigan is relying on a highly precise and quite literal reading of the Illinois Constitution to defeat the two proposed citizen initiatives, he’s also arguing that the common sense, plain meaning of the Constitution should be ignored when it comes to pension reform.