I can’t get too upset over the Illinois Supreme Court’s actions this week that killed off an attempt to force the issue of redistricting reform on the ballot for voters to decide.
Yes, it’s true that the people who were opposed to it were the ones who benefitted the most from the current system. Then again, the people who were leading the effort to “reform” it were really doing so because they couldn’t win political control on Election Days past.
TO ME, THEIR attempt to redo the rules of how boundaries are set for the political districts that comprise the Illinois Legislature and our Congressional delegation reeked just a bit too much of that sore-loser little kid who – upon realizing he’s about to lose the board game – decides to just knock over the game table.
So the idea that the effort backed with the personal fortune of Gov. Bruce Rauner has failed yet again? It seems that Rauner is learning that even though he was able to buy victory in the 2014 election cycle, he can’t necessarily buy a sympathetic Legislature that will rubber-stamp his every desire.
Most of which are geared toward undermining organized labor and the influence it has within government.
Seriously, Rauner doesn’t get all goofy with the rhetoric about assorted social issues as does Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. But otherwise, the two do come off as rich guys who want a government post to benefit their own financial interests.
THAT ATTITUDE IS why I have had trouble trusting the various Independent Map Amendment initiatives that have cropped up in recent years – only to be ignored by the General Assembly and dumped upon by the courts.
Including the Supreme Court of Illinois, which late Thursday issued a ruling that reeks of political partisanship in and of itself.
The four high court justices who have political sponsors of the Democratic Party persuasion were a majority that upheld the lower court decisions that have thwarted the issue.
While the three justices with Republican political sponsorship were hard-core in favor of the issue – which would have placed a referendum question on the ballot come the Nov. 8 elections that theoretically could have undermined the current system of political boundary setting.
LET’S BE HONEST. If there were just one more justice coming from a Republican-leaning part of Illinois, we’d have had a high court that would have gladly given Rauner what he wants on this issue.
Instead, we have the four justices that come from the Chicago and St. Louis metropolitan areas – which make up about 70 percent of the state’s population.
So I can’t say I’m particularly swayed by the dissenting opinion of Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas (of GOP-leaning DuPage County), who called the high court’s latest action, “a fait accompli, nothing less than the nullification of a critical component of the Illinois Constitution of 1970.”
It strikes me as being the angry ramblings of someone who came up on the short-end of the stick and presumes that God, so to speak, is with him and would naturally prevail on his side – in any just society.
THE TRUTH MAY well be that neither “side” in this fight has any moralistic claims to make. It really is a numbers racket. Whichever side has the numbers will prevail. And yes, I acknowledge that much of the problem with the current set-up is that it encourages the greed of politicians and their desire to "screw over" their partisan opposition.
If that sounds a bit too much like “winner take all,” keep in mind that the very concept of democracy is one in which the majority rules.
Which, in a sense, is what is happening in Illinois, where an urban majority of the population is managing to overcome the desires of a more rural minority with a different vision.
They may think these legal actions are some sort of God-given claim for supremacy. But they really reek of that kid kicking over the game table that is the General Assembly, sending all its pieces (which currently provide veto-proof majorities in his opposition) scattered about the floor in order to force his preferred outcome.