* Center Square…
State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said there’s been virtually no input from anyone in the judiciary he’s spoken to.
“This is politics at its worst form,” Butler said during the hearing. “This is a complete power grab by you, the supermajority, and by the governor to completely redo the court system in your little progressive ways and it’s really a shame that this is how you’re conducting it.” […]
Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said the measure won’t create more judges. It will create a more diverse judiciary. He also said there were other considerations.
“Certainly partisanship is a component that is considered when evaluating the constructing of subcircuits,” Harmon said.
There’s the admission. Plain as day.
* Capitol News Illinois…
The same would be true for Lake County, where the proposal would double the number of subcircuits from six to 12.
In the 17th Circuit, which covers Winnebago and Boone counties, the bill calls for consolidating four subcircuits into two.
The bill also would create subcircuits for the first time in DuPage County, the state’s second-largest county, while establishing a “resident judge” model in Champaign, Peoria and Rock Island counties, which are all part of multicounty circuits. That means judges in those counties would be elected from within the county rather than from the entire circuit.
Similar changes are proposed for the 3rd Circuit, which includes Madison and Bond counties, and the 7th Circuit, which includes Sangamon County and five surrounding counties.
The 7th Circuit bench is entirely white and always has been. There has never been a Black or Hispanic judge elected in the 7th Circuit.
Now, whether or not that will happen under this remap is anyone’s guess…
Data released by Democrats in the Illinois Senate show that the first proposed subcircuit, containing the urban core of Springfield, is 22.22% Black and 3.31% Hispanic and has a population of 104,435. This subdistrict would have a significantly higher number of minority residents than the other proposed subdistricts.
The other subdistricts would range in population from 91,908 to 4,949.
Democrats said the legislation wouldn’t increase the number of judges but give people in minority communities more of a chance to elect judges who look like them.
The other subcircuits are here.
Of the six counties in the 7th Circuit, four have Black and Brown populations of less than 1 percent. Morgan was 6 percent Black in the 2010 census, and Sangamon was 11.8 percent Black.
But, again, this looks like more about electing Democratic judges. Same for Champaign, Peoria and Rock Island counties, which are surrounded by Republican counties.