EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced today that the county has filed a Notice of Appeal on Illinois’ Seventh Judicial Circuit’s ruling on the recently-passed judicial subcircuit legislation.
“This subcircuit law is unjust, unconstitutional, and riddled with problems,” Haine said. “We can discern no legitimate reason why it needs to be implemented on such a rushed timeframe in Madison County but not elsewhere in the state. This sudden, unexplained rush has forced Madison County into court, where a bipartisan and overwhelming majority of the County Board resolved to defend our fundamental commitment to a fair and equal justice system. That legal fight continues with this appeal.”
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Madison County is joined on this appeal by all plaintiffs, Christina Wiley, Daniel McConchie, and Judges Amy Sholar and Christopher Threlkeld.
On January 21, Haine filed a lawsuit on behalf of the citizens of Madison County challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 3138, the Judicial Circuits Redistricting Act of 2022. This bill, which was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on January 7, divided Madison County into three subcircuits and removed countywide elections of judges.
Of the 16 counties affected by this legislation, Madison County is the only one that will have county-wide judicial elections removed immediately, before the 2022 elections. The remainder of the affected circuits are not required to implement these changes until 2024.
Following a hearing on January 24 in Springfield, Circuit Judge Ryan Cadagin issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the legislation, which halted the implementation of the subcircuits. The state appealed the halt in implementation and following the lifting of the TRO by the appellate court on the state’s appeal, Cadagin dismissed the case on February 24.
“We continue to call upon the Illinois legislature to rethink its sudden departure from over a century of precedent and reconsider this subcircuit scheme until after the 2022 elections,” Haine added. “Let’s let cooler heads prevail, allow the public an opportunity to comment, and ensure any subcircuit scheme applied to Madison County is constitutional.”