After the many hurdles to get a citizen-led state constitutional amendment on the ballot, the coalition behind an initiative to remove politicians from the map-making process said it’s now or never.
Despite the Independent Map Amendment coalition getting more than half-a-million petition signatures verified, the measure was challenged in the courts. The final brief was filed overnight in the Illinois Supreme Court.
Campaign Manager Dave Mellet said a circuit court rejected the measure without any guidance from the state supreme court.
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“There was not a lot of precedent,” he said. “The issue of redistricting has never been addressed by the Illinois Supreme Court.”
Mellet said there will be significant consequences if the high court holds the same narrow interpretation as the circuit court.
“You basically make it impossible to do anything as citizens of Illinois, and the reason that we have this (ballot initiative) in our constitution is so that citizens will fix things that the legislature won’t fix for themselves,” he said.
It’s now a waiting game for the ruling from the high court.
“They haven’t said that they’ll decide by a certain date,” Mellet said. “It could be days, it could be a couple of weeks, but we’re pretty confident that they’ll probably decide by Aug. 26. It seems that they understand the importance of deciding this issue by that date because that’s when the state board of elections will need to certify the ballot.”
Approximately 560,000 signatures were already verified by the elections board, but the proposed amendment was challenged in the courts by The People’s Map group, which has ties to leading state Democrats.