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*** UPDATED x2 - City files notification of appeal on intervenor denial motion, overall ruling - City files legal response *** More confusion on Bring Chicago Home

Monday, Feb 26, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. The judge in the Bring Chicago Home case has filed a written opinion. Kinda. Click here

THIS MATTER coming to be heard on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Complaint, Plaintiffs’ Motion to Expedite Consideration of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and Plaintiffs’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, the Court being duly advised in the premises, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

    1. For the reasons stated in open court and on the record, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Complaint is Denied.
    2. For the reasons stated in open court and on the record, Plaintiffs’ Motion to Expedite Consideration of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is Granted.
    3. For the reasons stated in open court and on the record, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is Granted.
    4. The Defendant Board is ordered to not count and suppress any votes cast on the referendum question at the March 19, 2024 primary election, and not to publish any tallies or results of any votes cast on the referendum question.

Except…


Weird.

* From the city’s board of elections…

Hi Rich – we just received the attached written court order. This confirms that Early Voting and Voting By Mail will not be paused. The question will remain on the ballot, but currently votes will not be counted for the question.

This is subject to change by future court order, so the votes for the question are being sequestered but will not be counted at this time.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners will decide upon an appeal tomorrow – I will reach out about the decision with a statement ASAP.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The judge in the case denied the City of Chicago’s motion to intervene on Friday. The city is now asking for a stay of that order, among other things

The City of Chicago, through its attorneys, move pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 305 to stay the order denying the City’s Motion to Intervene and the Court’s February 23, 2024 order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on the pleadings and entering declaratory judgment in Plaintiffs’ favor and granting injunctive relief suppressing the vote on the advisory referendum in the March 19, 2024 election.

Keep in mind that the city waited until Friday 35 days after the complaint was filed to file its motion to intervene

The City’s petition was timely, the City moved to intervene before the parties finished briefing on the Plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on the pleadings. The Court cited no authority that supported its denial of a petition to intervene as untimely before judgment had been entered. First District authority contradicts the court’s ruling. Citicorp Sav. of Illinois v. First Chicago Tr. Co. of Illinois, the court reversed the trial court’s denial of the appellant’s petition to intervene as untimely for abuse of discretion where appellant filed its petition 31 days after receiving notice and prior to final judgment. … Here the City filed its petition to intervene 35 days after the complaint was filed, before any defendants had filed a responsive pleading, and before the Plaintiffs’ improper motion for judgment on the pleadings was fully briefed.

* More

The Board defendants could not and did not adequately represent the City’s interests. The Board failed to raise any substantive arguments in response to the Plaintiffs’ arguments that the referendum violated the Illinois Municipal Code and the Illinois Constitution. This is because the Board Defendants were not authorized to raise such arguments. See Kozenczak v. Du Page Cnty. Officers Electoral Bd., 299 Ill. App. 3d 205, 207 (2nd Dist. 1998)(holding local election officials acted “in an adjudicatory or quasi-judicial capacity” and thus Illinois election law did not authorize their advocacy on behalf of prospective candidate in opposition to a voter challenge to his qualifications.) One of the Board Defendants even averred that it was improper for the Board to weigh in on the referendum’s constitutionality.

Because the City was not allowed to intervene, these arguments were not raised. If the City had been allowed to intervene, the Court would have considered these arguments, which were raised in the City’s proposed Motion to Dismiss. Instead, the Court granted the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings with no opposition to the substantive arguments.

* And

Plaintiffs failed to allege any harm they would suffer should the vote on the referendum go forward as scheduled. Plaintiffs further failed to allege what harm they would suffer should the City Council ultimately enact the ordinance, but for our purposes here, there is no harm in letting an election on an advisory referendum go forward. Even if it were to pass, it would still require enactment by City Council and would still be subject to all of Plaintiffs’ challenges raised in their complaint. On the other hand, early voting on the referendum has already begun. For the past week, Chicagoans have been voting and today the Court decided their votes should be suppressed. The Illinois Supreme Court stated the harm in such an injunction:

    [A]n election is a political matter with which courts of equity have nothing to do, and that such an attempt to check the free expression of opinion, to forbid the peaceable assemblage of the people, to obstruct the freedom of elections, if successful, would result in the overthrow of all liberties regulated by law.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Just filed by the city in the 1st Appellate District

Intervenor/Nonparty-Appellant, CITY OF CHICAGO, by its attorney, the Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago, hereby appeals to the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District, from the circuit court order entered on February 26, 2024 denying the City of Chicago’s petition for leave to intervene as a matter of right pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-408(a)(2), and the circuit court order entered on February 26, 2024 granting plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on the pleadings for the reasons stated in open court and on the record, and ordering the defendant Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago “not to count and suppress any votes cast on the referendum question at the March 19, 2024 primary election, and not to publish any tallies or results of any votes cast on the referendum question.”

       

37 Comments
  1. - Pragmatic progressive - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 10:36 am:

    Maybe the judge is right, but I fail to see how combining tax increases with tax cuts is log rolling. I thought log rolling is when a proposal is not single subject, usually as a result of vote trading.


  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 10:39 am:

    ===is log rolling===

    That phrase was mentioned in a Sun-Times story, but I did not see any mention of it by the judge. So maybe don’t focus on it yet.


  3. - Keyrock - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 10:41 am:

    Judges do their jobs by explaining the basis for their decisions.

    In the old days when a Cook County Circuit Court judge issued a ruling in a major case without explanation, you’d wonder who got to the judge. Now, you still kind of wonder why the judge would take such an unusual action.


  4. - Dan Johnson - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 10:43 am:

    Curious if there are Supreme Court standards for what must be / should be included in judicial orders. Like, reasoning or specific statutory provisions or case law or precedent. Maybe circuit court judges should be required to meet certain standards before issuing orders.


  5. - Wobblies United - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 10:48 am:

    Question, if this measure is deemed illegal then why wasn’t the Fair Tax illegal in the same way? Was that not raising taxes on some people and lowering them on others?

    Just feels dirty…


  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 10:58 am:

    ===illegal in the same way?===

    The Fair Tax question did not include tax rate changes in its actual ballot language.


  7. - Gravitas - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:00 am:

    In election cases, which are generally heard on expedited schedules, it is not uncommon for the judges to rely upon the transcripts of the hearings to provide reasons for their decisions rather than having lengthy written orders with a list of specific findings.

    Election cases are unusual in that the courts have to act rapidly,


  8. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:01 am:

    The BCH people should try engaging with the industry to find win-win solutions instead of remaining focused on their anger and hatred of a group of people, and letting that drive their decision making.


  9. - 17% solution - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:24 am:

    === The BCH people should try engaging with the industry to find win-win solutions instead of remaining focused on their anger and hatred of a group of people===

    Anger and hated? I have no idea what you’re talking about or who that is.


  10. - New Day - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:27 am:

    “not count and suppress any votes cast”

    Which is it? Don’t count them or don’t suppress them? Seems like those two phrases are mutually exclusive.


  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:29 am:

    ===I have no idea what you’re talking about or who that is.===

    Ald Roseanne Rosanna Danna was wearing her “Eat the Rich” t-shirt recently. Maybe start with her.


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Seems like those two phrases are mutually exclusive. ===

    You’re reading way too much into it. This is standard language.


  13. - 17% solution - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:34 am:

    === Ald Roseanne Rosanna Danna===

    The Saturday Night Live character?
    Never mind.


  14. - NIU Grad - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:52 am:

    “For the reasons stated in open court and on the record”

    If the judge is not referencing anything that she said in the courtroom…is she simply stating that it’s based on all of the arguments that the Plaintiff made in court? So can an appeal challenge anything and everything that was said in open court?

    Is this lazy or intentionally obstructive?


  15. - JC - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 11:53 am:

    == Ald Roseanne Rosanna Danna ==

    Those Latinos sure have crazy names, huh! Are you one of the condescending bigots in the industry that we’re supposed to be finding win-win solutions with?


  16. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 12:34 pm:

    “Well it just goes to show you, it’s always something, you either got a toenail in your hamburger or toilet paper clinging to your shoe.”


  17. - referendums are good - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 12:44 pm:

    “for our purposes here, there is no harm in letting an election on an advisory referendum go forward”

    Woah wait what? I thought this was a binding referendum??


  18. - Montrose - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 12:51 pm:

    “Woah wait what? I thought this was a binding referendum??”

    It is neither binding nor just advisory. City council can’t raise the RETT without permission from the voters, so it has legal weight. But nothing changes unless city council passed an ordinance with the new rates in it.


  19. - referendums are good - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==It is neither binding nor just advisory.==

    Thanks for the clarification. It’d be nice if all the news would cover it that way…


  20. - 17% solution - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:07 pm:

    === Are you one of the condescending bigots in the industry that we’re supposed to be finding win-win solutions with?===

    Chill, JC. That wasn’t the original commenter, that was just a different commenter chiming in with a wisecrack. We still have no idea what Just Me 2 meant.


  21. - Former Downstater - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:07 pm:

    This judge’s ruling is more useless than the one issued by the judge in the Darren Bailey Clay County case.


  22. - OH - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:15 pm:

    Really odd behavior by the judge.

    It seems to me the plaintiffs have a decent case: according to state law, a tax increase requires a referendum, a tax decrease does not. The advocates improperly inserted a decrease into the ballot language to make it easier to pass, which violates the spirit, and likely the intent, of the state law.

    I don’t understand why the judge didn’t just say that.


  23. - John Parker - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:16 pm:

    ==Keep in mind that the city waited until Friday to file its motion to intervene…==

    This is incorrect - the City filed its motion to intervene on February 9, plaintiffs filed their opposition on February 13, the judge denied the City’s motion on February 23.


  24. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:19 pm:

    === Are you one of the condescending bigots in the industry that we’re supposed to be finding win-win solutions with?===

    Thank you for proving my point.


  25. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:21 pm:

    =Are you one of the condescending bigots in the industry that we’re supposed to be finding win-win solutions with?=

    Going here from the jump is why no one wants to talk to you and why you need to learn to make nice. That commenter has been here for-freaking-ever, is one of the most measured and reasonable voices on here, has never shown a hint of bigotry, and often supports progressive causes.

    But you maybe made an enemy of that person. Nice work.


  26. - Anon324 - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:34 pm:

    ==The Fair Tax question did not include tax rate changes in its actual ballot language.==

    The Fair Tax was also a proposed amendment to the Illinois constitution. The BCH question is not.


  27. - New Day - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:40 pm:

    =Are you one of the condescending bigots in the industry that we’re supposed to be finding win-win solutions with?=

    Two things. First off, Joe Bidenopolous is 100% right about 47. He was making a joke that goes back more than 35 years. Sorry if they lost you. Also, they’re pretty progressive and have been supporting D causes and candidates since probably before you were born. Calling an ally a racist is a nice way to win friends and influence people.

    Oh, and finally, Gilda Radner was one of the funniest people ever to be on SNL and was on back when SNL was actually funny. If you haven’t seen her in that character, you may want to check this out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k59d-xMvooA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k59d-xMvooA


  28. - Patti - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:16 pm:

    While we wait for clarification on Bring Chicago Home’s ballot status, it would be nice if the mayor and BCH’s supporters would explain why it isn’t an option to use any of the remaining $340 million or so in federal COVID funds for the homelessness problem NOW. Regardless of anyone’s support or opposition to BCH, I don’t get why it is even necessary. As WTTW notes in the link below, “help for unhoused Chicagoans” is something those hundreds of millions in COVID funds are allowed to be used for.

    https://news.wttw.com/2024/02/12/just-29-federal-covid-19-relief-funds-meant-transform-chicago-have-been-spent-data


  29. - Frida's boss - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:25 pm:

    Wait until JC finds out that the character was supposed to be Italian and Gilda Radner was Jewish.
    Lighten up Francis


  30. - Unanimous Choice - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:45 pm:

    Why did the city wait so long to intervene? SIGH. Anything the 5th floor has done under MBJ appears to lack strategy or logic. It is like their missing is to be extremely confusing.


  31. - 17% solution - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:56 pm:

    === Thank you for proving my point.===

    Wait. You made a point?


  32. - JC - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:08 pm:

    == Wait until JC finds out that the character was supposed to be Italian and Gilda Radner was Jewish.
    Lighten up Francis==

    I’m well aware of the origin of gag and I’m also well-aware that every schmuck racist in the city who has a bone to pick with my alderwoman loves making a big show of being unable to get her zany foreign-sounding name right. It’s constant and it’s very very lame every single time. Maybe this commenter is the one exception, but frankly, I don’t care.


  33. - Shytown - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:31 pm:

    Whoa. I sure missed out on this thread today. Roseanne Roseannadanna is a childhood SNL hero. Long live Gilda.


  34. - Just a guy - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 5:07 pm:

    Patti makes a great point about the unused Covid funds. So let’s start there. Secondarily with the BCH efforts, because I genuinely want to know, think of myself as a strong researcher and like to do the work, wonder if anyone out there has seen a plan - or even an outline - about how the funds from this change in taxation are going to be used to combat homelessness. I’ve done a lot of digging, and all I have is a sore back. Any help would be appreciated.


  35. - 17% solution - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 5:48 pm:

    === would be nice if the mayor and BCH’s supporters would explain why it isn’t an option to use any of the remaining $340 million or so in federal COVID funds for the homelessness problem NOW.===
    I can’t speak for the mayor but I’m guessing since pandemic funds have to be used for pandemic related things, it’s harder to spend it in a way that won’t run afoul of the treasury department.

    Also note the pandemic funds end in 2026 and BCH isn’t expected to be up and running til 2026.


  36. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Feb 27, 24 @ 8:42 am:

    === wonder if anyone out there has seen a plan - or even an outline - about how the funds from this change in taxation are going to be used to combat homelessness. I’ve done a lot of digging, and all I have is a sore back. Any help would be appreciated.===

    The BCH folks purposely won’t say. Instead their plan is to create a special committee to spend it.


  37. - Qariwa55 - Tuesday, Feb 27, 24 @ 10:01 pm:

    To Just Me 2
    You asked about the plan. I posted a searchable version of the only document so far issued publicly that outlines how that dedicated fund to combat homelessness might be spent: https://www.facebook.com/groups/873034060920085/permalink/881724443384380


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