Court upholds new Illinois legislative maps

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Today’s decision was unanimous, with three judges in U.S. District Court in Chicago signing on: Michael Brennan, Jon DeGuilio and Robert Dow Jr. 

Click here to see the map.

The boundaries set by the new maps “neither violate the Voting Rights Act nor the Constitution,” the panel held. Though plaintiffs contended otherwise, “the record shows ample evidence” that Black and Latino voters have a good chance to elect one of their own in a fair number of districts, even though in some cases, white voters will be needed because the districts have only a Black or Latino plurality, not majority, the panel added.

Republicans, joined by the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund and by the East St. Louis Branch of the NAACP, contended that minority districts had been diluted, with Democratic-leaning minorities spread across numerous districts rather than concentrated in a smaller number that would more likely guarantee a minority victory.

But the court panel rejected that argument, noting, among other things, that a proposed alternate map offered by plaintiffs would create districts that were just barely Latino majority on the basis of voting-age citizenship, as low as 51%.

In fact, the panel concluded, “voluminous evidence” exists that the motivation behind the map drawn by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly was partisan, not racial. And while some people may not like partisan maps, that issue is “beyond the reach of the federal courts.”

If Illinoisans don’t like partisanship in remap, they are free to change the Illinois Constitution, the panel said.

Plaintiffs had no immediate response.

via Crain’s Chicago Business

December 30, 2021 at 02:03PM

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