Judge issues restraining order against gerrymandered courts
Madison County officials received some welcomed news in their efforts to overturn an attempt at gerrymandering their local courts. State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) says a recent temporary restraining order against the implementation of new judicial sub circuits in Madison County is good news for Illinoisans, who deserve a corrupt-free judicial system.
“It’s maddening that some Madison County legislators and their Chicago allies chose special interests and partisan politics over the people they are elected to represent in passing their attempt at hijacking our court system” said Senator Plummer. “Kudos to the local bipartisan opposition to that blatant power grab, who have taken the issue to court and are fighting to get it thrown out.”
In January, during a rushed, one-day legislative session, Democrats rammed through a judicial redistricting bill, which not only reallocated sub districts in the Chicago region, but also created new sub circuits in a handful of other counties, including Madison. The new sub circuits were designed to help boost the chance of electing Democratic judges in those regions. The new sub circuits would also mean that not all of the citizens of the counties would have the chance to vote on all of the counties’ judges.
The Madison County sub circuits were created without input from county and local judicial officials. In response, a bipartisan coalition of Madison County Board members authorized State’s Attorney Tom Haine to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new law. On Monday, January 24th, a Sangamon County judge issued a temporary restraining order halting the implementation of the new sub circuits.
“This was a big win for the people of Madison County. This order halts, at least for now, the implementation of this egregious and legally dubious end-run around the voters,” said Senator Plummer. “In this hyper-partisan era, it is great to see people of all political stripes working together to right a wrong. We work for the voters – that is something I never forget. It is unconscionable that we have some elected officials trying to strip rights away from their constituents and politicize our judiciary simply because they do not ‘trust’ how people may vote.
“This is just an initial win. I will continue to stay on top of this issue and fight for the rights of the voters and an independent judiciary,” added Plummer. “If they want to corrupt Madison County today, it’s just a matter of time before they are doing the same in other counties.”