Illinois Supreme Court in the News: 7/1-15

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[author: Kirk Jenkins]

Coverage of the Court in the news and blogs is light with the Court on its summer hiatus between terms. Bethany Krajelis of The Madison St. Clair Record reported on Republican leaders' petition for reconsideration of the Court's order dismissing their constitutional challenge to the redistricting maps drawn by the Legislature. By Court rule, such challenges must be heard in the first instance by the Supreme Court.

The Republicans originally filed their challenge back in February, but the petition immediately hit a roadblock when the Court ordered briefing on whether the challenge -- filed eight months after redistricting maps were approved -- was timely. In early June, a 4-3 majority of the Court dismissed the petition in a brief order. According to the leaders' petition for reconsideration, the dismissal order conflicts with Reynolds v. Sims, a landmark Supreme Court election law precedent which -- according to the Republican leaders -- holds that courts should be reluctant to toss redistricting challenges because of the possibility of disrupting imminent elections. The Republicans also point to newly discovered evidence as a basis for reconsideration, citing an expert report concluding that the redistricting maps unfairly favor Democratic candidates.

On July 6, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Appellate Court in People v. Hackett, wihch arose from a DUI stop in Will County. Mike Moen and Brian Mackey reported on the story for WNIJ Public Radio, and Kerry J. Bryson of the Office of the State Public Defender in analyzed the opinion for Illinois Lawyer Now.