An attorney who’s long been a close ally of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has filed a lawsuit trying to block voters from considering a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to remove some of the influence of partisan politics from how state House and Senate district boundaries are drawn. The suit was brought by the People’s Map, the same group of prominent racial and ethnic minorities that sued two years ago to keep a similar referendum question off the 2014 ballot. Their attorney is Michael Kasper, general counsel for Madigan’s Illinois Democratic Party. The legal move comes less than a week after the Independent Maps coalition filed more than 570,000 petition signatures with the State Board of Elections in the first step toward putting the proposed amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot — almost double the minimum required.
“Springfield insiders aren’t willing to risk those odds and would rather cynically preempt at the courthouse what they cannot win at the ballot box,” said FitzSimons, the former chairman and CEO of Tribune Co. and chairman of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
“Plain and simple, this lawsuit is a struggle for power. It is Illinois politicians struggling to retain the power to manipulate elections versus citizens demanding reform,” he said. “We knew this lawsuit would be the response to our submission of 570,000 petition signatures from Illinois voters, and we are ready to aggressively defend the constitutionality and fairness of the Independent Map Amendment.”