As expected, a lawsuit has been filed to block the Independent Map Coalition’s efforts to change how Illinois draws political maps.
The group People’s Map filed a lawsuit in Cook County Wednesday against the Independent Map group. Independent Map spokesman Jim Bray says they expected the lawsuit.
“What it has to do with is people in power wanting to stay in power and not wanting to have a fair and open process of redrawing state legislative lines,” Bray said.
Bray says his group’s proposed amendment will win in court.
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“It’s gone through a battery of lawyers and other groups who have reviewed it and we believe it is quite in line with what the constitution allows,” Bray said.
People’s Map attorney Michael Kasper says he does not comment on pending litigation. Kasper’s website says he has represented Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton “for many years.”
Bray said the court challenge could be expensive.
“This will not be an inexpensive effort but we’re prepared for it and we are budgeting and we are ready to take it to the Supreme Court if needed,” Bray said.
Just before turning in more than 570,000 petition signatures to the Illinois State Board of Elections Friday, Independent Map Board Chairman Dennis FitzSimons said they learned lessons from their past attempts.
“You have to start your petition gathering earlier and your fundraising earlier,” FitzSimons said. “We are well funded going forward to put this before the voters.”
The latest quarterly report for Independent Maps filed at the end of March says the group has more than $470,000 on hand.