* 12:07 pm - From a Bruce Rauner press release…
Just moments ago, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Mikva ruled against the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits and in favor of the Madigan-backed lawsuit to prevent the people of Illinois from voting on the Term Limits and Reform constitutional amendment in November.
“Today we saw the entrenched special interests that fund and support the political status quo prevail, and the people of Illinois be denied the right to chose for themselves if term limits should be the law in Illinois,” said Term Limits and Reform Executive Director Mark Campbell. “We’ve always known that term limits opponents would use the courts to try to protect the failed status quo, and we’ve long been prepared to defend our initiative in the Illinois Supreme Court, which we intend to do. We are confident that we will prevail there, and the people’s voices will be heard in November.”
More in a bit.
* 12:09 pm - I have confirmed that both constitutional amendments were struck down as unconstitutional today - term limits and remap reform. I’m currently trying to get a copy of the judge’s ruling. Stay tuned.
* 1:14 pm - Sorry for the unavoidable delay. To read the opinion, click here.
* The Sun-Times story is all about Madigan…
In a win for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Cook County judge on Friday ruled in favor of a lawsuit that aimed to stop two referendums on the November ballot — one that would impose term limits, the other that would change the state’s redistricting process.
Cook County Judge Mary Mikva permanently enjoined election officials from putting either measure on the ballot.
Behind the lawsuit was Madigan, who opposes both measures. Madigan has previously derided both proposed referendums as “all Republican politics.”
* The Tribune went for substance…
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.” […]
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. […]
Under previous state Supreme Court rulings there is a limited window for using petition initiative attempts to change the 1970 Illinois Constitution. Such initiatives must affect both the structure and procedure of the General Assembly to be eligible for the ballot.
* 1:33 pm - One thing to note about the Rauner camp’s response and the Sun-Times story is that this judge was agreed to by all parties. They could’ve objected, but they didn’t.
Just keep that in mind when the professional victims start screaming.
* 1:41 - From the Quinn campaign…
Quinn for Illinois spokesman Izabela Miltko issued the below statement regarding today’s court ruling on Bruce Rauner’s poorly-drafted proposal. The Governor strongly supports term limits and redistricting reform that ensures equal representation of minorities. Miltko said:
“Governor Pat Quinn has strongly supported term limits since 1993 when he spearheaded a statewide petition drive for a citizen referendum to establish term limits in Illinois.
“During that petition drive, Bruce Rauner was nowhere to be found. Now, 20 years later, he turns up with a poorly drafted, election-year proposal. Rauner has nobody but himself to blame for harming the term limits cause.
“As the Governor said in 1994 and believes to this day, it is unfortunate that the people of Illinois have been denied the ability to enact pure term limits directly through referendum as Governor Quinn has long advocated.”
In 1980, Quinn led the successful petition and referendum drive that enacted the Cutback Amendment, which reduced the size of the Illinois House from 177 members from 118. This was the first and only constitutional amendment ever enacted by citizen petition and referendum in Illinois history.