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Appellate court approves expedited term limits hearings

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014

* Illinois Review

Although the term limits state constitutional amendment was rejected by the Illinois Supreme Court last week, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner told reporters Monday his legal team expects to return to the state’s highest court again.

The first step was going back to the state’s First District Appellate Court, which said Monday it would hear the case and expedite its ruling. Either way the appellate court decides, the case will be appealed back the state’s highest court. With ballot printing deadlines less than a month away, timing will be crucial.

“We’re asking this court to make an expedited decision, we think they owe it to you, they owe it to the voters of our state to make a prompt decision on this and then let the voters decide the issue,” Rauner said at a news conference.

Expedited appeal is basically a three-week turnaround. A week each for briefs and motions and then a week to formulate the opinion. That puts them at August 11th or so for the opinion - just ten days before the ballot is scheduled to be certified.

Tick tock.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    If a ruling doesn’t beat the clock, it’s just that much more proof of how undemocratic Illinois is. Here is a ballot initiative which polls show has overwhelming support among the public and which apparently had enough signatures to meet the state’s onerous requirement, yet the Supreme Court can’t make time to decide it’s constitutionality in a timely manner? They’re *that* busy? This has nothing to do with the merits of their argument - from what I saw it sure seems like it exceeds the scope of what is permitted for constitution ballot initiatives.

    And, of course, the legislature and supposedly pro-term-limit Governor could put it on the ballot themselves. That they don’t shows how much they care about small-d democracy.


  2. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Sorry to threadjack but Rich can we have a thread on that appeals court ruling out of D.C. on the Obamacare exchanges given that Illinois is one of the states where enrollees would lose subsidies if this stands?


  3. - Stones - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    More show than go. As the piece stated this will end up in the Supreme Court anyway. This is just a step along the way.


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    gosh i guess rauner can play the outsider victim card now and anger low info voters


  5. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Was the earlier Sup Ct ruling a denial of direct appeal to the high court, and not on the merits? If so, won’t the issue still get to the Sup Ct by way of appeal from Appellate Court? Certainly time is short, and probably Sup Ct could deny a petition for review, thereby letting the Appellate Court decision stand, whatever it is…right?


  6. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    The Illinois Supreme Court really needs to promulgate rules concerning the processing of election law cases. Standards need to be defined. It can really be hard to prepare a record on appeal for cases that go up on appellate review. One wishes that the trial court judges would do a better job also. So many circuit court rulings on ballot access wind up being reversed on appeal.


  7. - gopher - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    hard to shake up Springfield if you can’t even get your question on the ballot because you don’t follow the rules


  8. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    @Anon 10:01

    There is a procedure to seek immediate appellate review of a circuit court decision in the State Supreme Court without the intermediate review in the Appellate Court. If a question is deemed sufficiently important, the State Supreme Court can exercise its discretion and accept a case directly from the Circuit Court.

    The denial of this motion was not on the merits. It was more of an administrative decision. The case needs to be processed through the Appellate Court as is customary.


  9. - Brass - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Good reminder that our state desperately needs legal reform from bottom to top.


  10. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    I’d hoped this awful amendment was dead for good.


  11. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    “I’ve been successful at everything I’ve ever done.”

    Except this. And that nursing home business.


  12. - Anon III - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    An opinion and a ruling on the appeal need not issue on the same date. Similar to the Appellate Ct, the Supreme Ct. could issue its ruling in an order, with an opinion to follow. I assume there will be a motion to delay the certification of the ballots.


  13. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    ==Here is a ballot initiative which polls show has overwhelming support among the public==

    Doesn’t matter what polls show. Racism polled well for centuries, doesn’t mean it should have ever been state policy.

    ==And, of course, the legislature and supposedly pro-term-limit Governor could put it on the ballot themselves. That they don’t shows how much they care about small-d democracy.==

    The governor can’t put anything on the ballot himself. The legislature could, but don’t want to for obvious reasons. If you don’t like it, organize and vote them out.


  14. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    47th, looks like he plans to fail at cutting taxes as well.


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    @47th Ward:

    And blocking Illinois pension reform.

    And blocking Chicago pension reform.

    And stopping Kirk Dillard’s appointment.

    And proposing a budget where revenue matches spending.

    I could go on…

    As to the whiners:

    The Trial judge was on precedent. If you are in such a rush to hear no, try speed-dating.

    Yes, amending the Constitution is an “up democratic” process. It takes more than a simple majority. Illinois had the chance four years ago to hold a constitutional convention to enact term limits and other changes, but 1.1 million voters said No, with much encouragement from business and labor. 2020 is a presidential election year, maybe that year will be different.

    I have a feeling.


  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    This proposal was in a form that couldn’t pass legal review, and that was obvious and pointed out from day one. Not even close, as the first judicial review and denial showed.

    It certainly looks like it was a cynical rip-off of the good people who supported the ideas and passed and signed the petitions, entirely for Rauner’s political gain.

    This latest move is not about term limits, but about keeping this “shake up Springfield” message in the press. And maintaining the anger of the public at just the right levels to vote out incumbents, while not killing turnout.

    It has been a genius campaign tactic, but a sick, abusive way to mislead the public.

    I personally am not against term limits, but this Rauner effort might have killed that reform for good. All supporters of term limits should be angry, and not at the courts.


  17. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Anonymous 11:15 was me. sorry.


  18. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Walker — why should supporters of term limits be angrier at Rauner than the politicians blocking the vote? Again, Governor Quinn claims to be in favor of term limits. Polls show overwhelming support for it among voters. And regardless of whether the Raunner petitions form was off, they met the heavy signature burden - silencing their voice is the real “abuse” here. And how is Quinn and Madigan being less cynical by claiming they need the voters input on raising the minimum wage but not on term limits?


  19. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    (And to be clear - I’m referring to the fact that the legislators have the power to put a term limits referendum on the ballot, not that the legislators are manipulating the courts’ rulings).


  20. - X-ray 1 - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    Who wouldn’t want a guaranteed job and pension with no danger of losing it. Greed, Greed, Greed!


  21. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    ==Governor Quinn claims to be in favor of term limits.==

    There not much more you could do to be in favor of it than collect signatures for a petition drive, which he was successful at. He just wasn’t successful at crafting a petition that met the framework of the state constitution, therefore it got tossed out in court. If that’s your standard, then you need to say Rauner is “supposedly” in favor of term limits because he is in the same spot now.


  22. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    From an editorial today in the oh-so-hated Tribune:

    “We keep pointing out that lawmakers could simply have heeded all those polls and placed a term limits amendment on the ballot themselves. That would spare their constituents the effort and expense of collecting all those signatures and defending the measure in court. The legal arguments used to attack the citizens’ initiative don’t apply to amendments proposed by the General Assembly.”

    Snap.


  23. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    @LCD with respect. Good, serious questions.

    My anger is directed at Rauner for starting the whole effort with a ballot initiative which could not legally succeed, no matter how many signatures were gathered. It was a deliberate sham, or should have been seen to be one. It is like making political hay with a petition which said people no longer have to pay for gasoline, which would easily meet the heavy signature burden. That’s just not good enough.

    This petition also had the cute tactic of changing the rules for Veto overrides by the Governor, and the size of the House, under cover of Term Limits — which no signers whom I talked to remembered were part of it, if they ever knew. It should have been less kitchen sink, and more a simple clear choice on one issue.

    Should it be so hard for the public to get binding ballot initiatives on things their elected representative legislature won’t do? That’s an important but different discussion. It should indeed be difficult, but maybe not this difficult.

    As to the cynicism of Quinn and Madigan in asking for voters’ ballot input on the minimum wage, as a ploy to avoid their legislative responsibilities and still look good, I agree with you. If there were enough public pressure on the legislators for considering term limits, and they couldn’t get the votes, then they could also put that on the ballot. The pressure isn’t sufficient yet.

    Of course, I could be wrong about how wrong this was. I literally yelled out in disgust when I first read the full petition itself, because I had been in favor of a version of term limits, and probably scared the poor gatherer.


  24. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Keep it in the news.
    This only adds credibility to Rauner’s campaign that he wants to shake up Springfield.

    Keep it in the news.


  25. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==That they don’t shows how much they care about small-d democracy.==

    I consider the decision to oppose this to be very democratic. I consider it very undemocratic to be told I’m not entitled to vote for a person 10 times in a row if I so choose. We already have term limits in place; they are called elections. What term limit supporters want is for the law to be changed to force the changes at the ballot box they can’t get in an election.


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