Governor JB Pritzker made big headlines last week when he signed new legislative plans.
While the Democrats gossiped about the fairness and variety of interests reflected in their work, the Republicans cried the blues. They claim – exactly – to be victims of more gerrymandering, which will dilute their already dwindling political power in Illinois.
But Republicans’ tears were twice as long as originally expected because Democrats continued to redraw the maps of the US House of Representatives and Senate.
Lessons from the November 2020 general election, the Democrats decided – for the first time in 60 years – to redesign the judicial districts of the states where the appeals court and Supreme Court judges reside.
It is their hope – and the Republicans’ fear – that the vastly new borders will maintain the permanent Democratic majority in the Illinois Supreme Court.
A Republican strategist, while acknowledging the Democrats’ ambitions, suggested that their goal might conflict with their tactics.
“The bottom line is that the Democrats are desperately trying to hold the majority they’ve had since 1962,” said Jim Nowlan, a former government professor at the University of Illinois.
Nowlan assisted in the successful indictment of keeping Democratic Judge Tom Kilbride in his 2020 campaign. Kilbride’s defeat made Democrats fear they would lose that seat in 2022 if they didn’t rig the pitch.
The question now is whose calculations are more accurate.
Although Kilbride failed to get the required 60 percent “yes” vote, she garnered a solid majority –
56 percent – in District 3.
Do the Democrats really have to redefine the boroughs to keep their majority? Everyone will know in November 2022 when two Kilbride-occupied Supreme Court seats and the currently appointed 2nd District Judge Michael Burke stand up for election.
The Democrats have a 4-3 majority in the Supreme Court. Politicians rarely take part in decisions. But when it does, it is on a large scale.
Democratic judges led by Kilbride rescued former House Speaker Michael Madigan when they killed a proposed constitutional amendment that would have deprived lawmakers of drawing up legislative plans and placing them in the hands of a non-partisan civic group.
Illinois is divided into five judicial districts.
Cook County, which has three judges, forms the first circle alone and only elects Democrats.
That means the Democrats only need to win one of the other four districts of the Supreme Court to keep their majority.
For decades, they relied on the lower 5th District, based in Mt. Vernon, for fourth place.
But the 5th district has turned as red as it used to be blue and, for various reasons, is only hospitable to Republicans.
While Cook County is a separate 1st district, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th complement Illinois’ other 101 counties.
The judicial redistribution has no impact on local circles. It looks different with the appellate districts.
Champaign County, which was part of Springfield’s 4th Appellate District, will move to the 5th District.
Under the new format, the 5th district wins 11 districts that were in the 4th district, while the 4th district wins 22 districts that were in the 2nd and 3rd districts.
The 2nd district, headquartered in Elgin, has been geographically reduced and now only includes five districts – DeKalb, Kendall, Kane, Lake and McHenry.
The old 21 circle
District 3, which meets in Ottawa, expands to 28 and includes DuPage County.
After the redraw, the Democrats appear to have ceded 4th and 5th districts to the Republicans while keeping Cook County.
Up for grabs are the 2nd and 3rd districts, which both parties can reach.
It is a political and political quagmire with many details still to be clarified. They pose a potential legal challenge.
So on Monday the Illinois Supreme Court issued an order leaving politics to the politicians while maintaining the political status quo.
In exercising their oversight of the Illinois courts, citing the “numerous changes” to the law, the judges ordered that “complaints and other matters should continue to be filed in the jurisdiction of June 3, 2021 until further notice.” of the court.”