* Belleville News-Democrat…
The Independent Maps initiative seems to be dead and buried, murdered by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and his four Democratic cohorts on the Illinois Supreme Court. There was an autopsy, but the results were withheld so that no one had a chance to learn anything from the death.
The gang of four that killed the will of 563,974 registered Illinois voters by tossing the Independent Map Amendment off the Nov. 8 ballot also refused to rehear the case. Their additional crime is their silence about why they refused to rehear the case.
A rehearing, or an opinion about why they refused a rehearing, would have been the four justices’ chance to explain themselves. They interpreted the Illinois Constitution very narrowly, saying that the petition for a maps amendment was not constitutional because it created duties for the state comptroller as well as made changes to state legislators’ powers and duties.
Under the justices’ interpretation, there are no conditions under which voters could petition to force lawmakers to give up the power of drawing their own districts. The justices had a duty to explain how a voter initiative ever could pass constitutional muster.
They met their duty with silence.
No hyperbole at all, though, which is nice.
* Let’s hope this isn’t related…
A suspicious package found Sunday at the Illinois Supreme Court building did not contain explosives, officials said.
The package was found on the steps of the Court building, Second Street and Capitol Avenue. Around 6 p.m., police blocked Second Street in both directions, Capitol Avenue near the Third Street railroad underpass and Jackson Street. People were also not allowed on the grounds in front of the state Capitol along Second Street.
* From the Secretary of State’s office yesterday…
This evening a suspicious package was discovered on the steps of the Illinois State Supreme Court. The Secretary of State Hazardous Device Unit (HDU) responded. They took X-rays of the package, which were inconclusive for the presence of an explosive device. Subsequently, the package was remotely opened with an HDU robot confirming no explosives were inside the package. The area is now clear. The Secretary of State Police worked in conjunction with the Marshall’s Office of the Supreme Court.
* And in other news…
A shooting in the loop, near Millennium Park, left a man in critical condition.
Police say the violent encounter stemmed from an altercation on Michigan Avenue, CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reports, and a witness says it was an argument about politics. […]
One witness said he saw the victim fall and it took a few minutes for him to understand what happened.
“There was a couple ladies, that I guess were with the gentleman that was shot, and they were hysterical. They said some guy on a bike shot him in the head twice and that he rode off. there was a political discussion going on,” Marques Wilson said.
The CBS 2 reporter told me that another witness mentioned a racial slur. The Chicago police initially believed the argument was about a woman.
…Adding… The victim has since died.