Federal court to soon decide fate of Democrats’ politically-drawn maps

Oral arguments in the federal court case that is set to determine the legality of the politically-drawn legislative maps passed by Illinois Democrats and signed by Gov. JB Pritzker concluded on Dec. 7. The federal panel of three judges is expected to hand down a decision ahead of Christmas on whether Democrats violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 by underrepresenting minority groups for partisan gain.

In an effort to protect Illinois voters against the political gerrymandering, Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, alongside the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the East Saint Louis Chapter of the NAACP have argued that the maps signed by Gov. Pritzker in September underrepresent minority groups and only seek to retain Democrat power in the Illinois legislature.

A little over a month ago, the three-judge panel ruled that the initial map drawn by Democrats and signed by Gov. Pritzker was unconstitutional as it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The panel then asked the plaintiffs to file their proposed remedy with the court. Illinois Republicans filed remedial maps that would fix the flaws in the Democrats’ politician-drawn maps by creating more districts with minority voting-age populations above 50 percent. Illinois Republicans argue that their maps would better provide voters the ability to elect candidates of their choice.


Jason Plummer

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