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State wants judge to review TRO on judicial redistricting law: “Respondents never sought this relief”

Friday, Jan 28, 2022

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - SWIL_Voter - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:56 am:

    Haine wants all of Madison County’s judges coming from richer whiter Edwardsville as opposed to any of the more diverse parts of the county.


  2. - Chicagonk - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    The law passed was one of the more cynical pieces of legislation I’ve seen.


  3. - Red Ketcher - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 12:42 pm:

    Read the Petition and Memorandum
    Sounds like valid reasons for Appellate Court to send it back to Sangamon County.
    Of course, Haine & Crew’s response not yet in
    But , if Betting right now it would be on the State.


  4. - Galway Bay - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    I always thought the Mesothelioma commercial where they flash the cities where the “national” firm has offices. Edwardsville, Illinois always sticks out as an odd location until you realize it’s located in one of the most plaintiff friendly locations in the country. As counties down state go more R the trial bar got nervous that this jackpot of a county was shifting away from them. So you get a bill like this.


  5. - just the facts - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    == The law passed was one of the more cynical pieces of legislation I’ve seen. ==

    Really curious why you think that. It’s similar to other laws passed by the General Assembly that sub circuit judicial circuits. There’s really nothing unique or different about this round of subcircuits. Many seem to not realize this is not such an extraordinary law and sub circuiting happens.


  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    This is getting interesting.

    I still don’t think the basis this is being argued, and the TRO was issued on, is a valid claim of constitutionality.

    may/shall language in the constitution(it’s may) combined with and/or qualifiers for each condition of the may/shall condition is bound to cause confusion. But no matter if it is may or shall as the primary condition, that condition will not impact the determination of the and/or secondary condition. It appears the argument made by the states attorney is erroneously assuming the second condition will be defined by the first, which it is also assuming is shall and not may.

    But again, I’m not a judge so my view is only worth the paper it isn’t printed on.


  7. - anon - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 2:12 pm:

    The GA didn’t have diversity in mind when it cut up Madison County–otherwise St. Clair would have been sub circuited. This is a total trial lawyer play


  8. - Sue - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 2:44 pm:

    Hey- I unfortunately have been there. Judges occasionally come up with rulings which neither party anticipated or requested. In and of itself that doesn’t afford a reversal.


  9. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 3:35 pm:

    Oh neat. I just read through the full ‘and it goes on’ link.


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