* Post-Dispatch earlier this week…
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine filed a lawsuit Friday in an attempt to block what he called a “dubious” new Illinois law that requires judicial elections to be decided by voters in new sub-circuits rather than countywide.
Illinois GOP leaders have called the new law a judicial “power grab” in the Metro East county where much of the nation’s lucrative asbestos litigation is filed but voters have lurched to the right in recent elections.
* Also from earlier this week…
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced today that a Sangamon County judge has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) halting the implementation of the recently-enacted legislation creating new judicial subcircuits in Madison County.
The TRO was in response to a lawsuit Haine filed on January 21 on behalf of Madison County which challenges the constitutionality of the subcircuit legislation. Judge Ryan Cadagin of Illinois’ Seventh Judicial Circuit issued the ruling on January 24, 2022 after an in-person hearing in Springfield, and the text of the order was released today, January 25.
The four-page TRO prevents the Governor, the State Board of Elections, and the Clerk of the Supreme Court “from taking any steps to enforce or institute the Judicial Circuits Districting Act of 2022.” Specifically it orders the Clerk of Supreme Court to “recertify the original vacancies of the Honorable David Dugan and the Honorable Richard Tognarelli, as they were before the passing of the Act.” The order also mandates that “Any petitions collected on or between January 22 and January 24 for a sub-circuit election [for the above vacancies] shall be accepted by the State Board of Elections for the reinstated county wide residency election.” And it states that it “shall continue in full force and effect until the court conducts a hearing on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.”
The preliminary injunction hearing is set for February 15.
* From the state’s petition for review today…
First, the circuit court did not preserve the status quo of a duly enacted law taking effect but rather upended the status quo.
Second, the circuit court committed an error of law and abused its discretion when it entered an overly broad TRO that invalidates the Act not just in Madison County, where respondents sought the injunctive relief based on section 2f-13, but statewide. Respondents never sought this relief.
Third, the TRO improperly orders the Illinois Supreme Court Clerk to recertify two judicial vacancies in Madison County, which currently are allocated to a new judicial subcircuit created under the Act. But the Clerk has no such authority. Only the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court may make such certifications.
And it goes on. More here.