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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear GOP Redistricting Challenge; Republicans React

Calling new state map unconstitutional, Illinois Republicans said Democrats redrew boundaries to benefit their party.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dashed Illinois Republicans’ hopes of having a Democratic-drawn state legislative maps thrown out.

The high court refused to hear an appeal from Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and other Illinois GOP leaders.

In a lawsuit filed in 2011 in federal court, Republicans challenged the legislative maps, saying new boundaries disfranchise minority groups and were gerrymandered in favor of Democrats.

The political boundaries were redrawn based on 2010 U.S. Census data.

On Tuesday, Radogno and State Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, issued a joint statement calling the ruling unfortunate.

“The court's ruling [Monday] is unfortunate and disappointing in light of the valid Voting Rights Act violations contained in the Democrats' legislative map,” the lawmakers said in the statement. “We had voluminous studies by respected scholars to demonstrate our position, and they unfortunately will not get to be considered in a court of law.”

Garrett Peck, a Republican running against Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant for the 49th District State Senate seat, issued a press release saying he was "disappointed."

“It is unfortunate that the court failed to recognize the obvious Voting Rights Act Violations contained in the Democrat drawn legislative map,” Peck said. “However, it is but a small piece of the larger issue at hand. Redistricting needs to be taken out of the hands of those who can most benefit from it — the controlling political party in the state (in this case the Democrats) and those incumbents who are given political protection through the gerrymandering process.”

Peck noted that in some states, redistricting is now done through an independent process. 

"Illinois is in the Stone Age when it comes to the redistricting process,” he said in the release. "The process in Illinois is purely political. We need to take this process out of the politician’s hands, and create either a non-partisan commission or have a computerized mapping system.”

Read more:

  • Will GOP Declares Independence From 'Chicago Machine'
  • Illinois GOP Leaders Sue Over Legislative Remap
  • Redistricting Hearing Coming to Chicago
  • State Lawmakers Get Ready to Redraw the Lines
Don Mueggenborg October 03, 2012 at 12:19 PM
What a shame. The government is supposed to serve the people. Stacking the deck is cheating. Both parties are guilty at times. Why do we keep electing these people?
John October 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I agree Don. We shouldn't tolerate this from either party. Unfortunately, the way the law is written in IL this type of redistricting is legal and encouraged by whatever party is in power.
Robert Green October 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM
There is a solution to this problem...the state of IL needs to have a referendum and do what Maryland did (though not for the same reasons). I say we donate Chicago/Cook County to the Federal Government so that it becomes District of Columbia II. The politics of the state would change overnight! IL would become much more neutral and less contentious politically!!!
Edward Andrysiak October 03, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Crook County encoumpasses more than Chicago! If you want to give away the City go ahead but leave the rest of us alone.
Martin October 04, 2012 at 02:05 PM
If you look at the redrawn borders and look at the border of 1812 Massachusetts, you would see very similar shapes and desgins. Those were deemed wrong and laws have been put in place to stop it...yet the one's that wanted those laws in place are the very ones ignoring them.

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