Thursday, December 15, 2011

EXTRA: Back to “Square One” on Illinois Congressional, Lege districts

So after all these weeks of apprehension that appeals court justices might decide to get themselves involved in the way Illinois political people drew boundaries for congressional and legislative districts, nothing changed.

The panel (which included two GOP types from Indiana to create the illusion that no bias was influencing the decision) ruled Wednesday to reject the claims of GOP politicians who wanted the Democrat-drawn boundaries tossed out in favor of something more sympathetic to their political futures.

THIS COMES JUST a week or so after the same panel rejected the challenges to the legislative district boundaries. It seems the panel saw through the partisan rhetoric where Republican officials were claiming to be more sympathetic to Latino political empowerment than Democratic Party officials were.

So now, unless the Supreme Court of the United States decides it wants to get involved in this issue, we in Illinois have political boundaries that are upheld by an appeals court.

Which also means the fact that the appeals panel forced state Elections Board officials to alter the schedule for filing nominating petitions (in case the congressional boundaries had been found to be unconstitutional) turned out to be a completely unnecessary move.

Congressional candidates could have filed their petitions earlier this month along with legislative candidates, instead of having to wait until a completely-separate period to occur late in December.

SO FOR THOSE people who are now trying to argue about the millions of dollars wasted on this legal appeal, I’d say that the significant dollar figure ought to be how much more money will the Illinois State Board of Elections have to spend because it was forced this time around to maintain two separate, week-long filing periods for candidates?

While the dollar figure may not (when put in perspective) be all that significant, I’d argue it is the principle of the issue at stake.

Extra expense incurred, all because Republicans in Illinois looked at what their colleagues in places like Texas were able to do with reapportionment and strived for a chance to do the same?


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