* The Tribune on Pat Quinn’s remap reform proposal…
In the high court’s ruling last week, it rejected the Independent Maps plan because it extended new duties to the state’s auditor general, going beyond the scope of the one legislative article that can be amended by the citizen initiative process. But the justices did not address other issues that Cook County Judge Diane Larsen also had found unconstitutional, including an expanded role for the high court and changes to the attorney general duties.
Currently, the state Supreme Court plays a role in the tie-breaking process, when they select the names of one Republican and one Democrat who will be chosen at random to end stalemates on the current eight-member redistricting commission, made up equally of House and Senate Republican and Democratic representatives.
Quinn’s argument is that because the state Supreme Court already has a role in redistricting under the legislative article, expanding the court’s role to select a new remap commission would fall under the court’s ruling and be constitutional. But it’s also questionable whether the justices would find the additional duties imposed on them to be constitutional.
Quinn’s proposal also could suffer from its simplicity. The proposal is silent on what would happen if the commission couldn’t reach a seven-member agreement on a new map.
All good points.
* Scott Szala, “an adjunct professor who teaches a course on the state constitution at the University of Illinois law school,” talked to Dan Petrella about the proposal…
He said one potential pitfall of Quinn’s idea is that having the Supreme Court appoint the commission’s members and rule on any legal challenges to the map they draw could create conflicts of interest.
There’s also the question of whether assigning a new task to the court would pass constitutional muster, Szala said.
There are other problems, which I mentioned to subscribers this morning.