Majority Party leaders managed to ram through and pass new Illinois Supreme Court districts, despite never doing so for about 60 years, and despite the Illinois Constitution not requiring it. Their excuse for doing so is to address population disparity. However, these new districts still include a population disparity of more than 200,000 people.
Senate Republicans argue that the remap is a direct result of the Democratic Party being fearful of losing their partisan influence in the higher court. This fear comes from last November when Thomas Killbride, a Democrat justice from the Third Supreme Court District, lost his vote for retention. This was the first time that an Illinois Supreme Court justice had lost a retention election since the process was created in 1964.
This retention failure now threatens the Democrats’ 4-3 advantage on the Illinois Supreme Court. Sen. Jason Plummer says Democrats fear a Republican could win that seat in the next election, so they are redrawing the districts to ensure that their party controls the court for years to come.