Metro-East News

Illinois Supreme Court denies independent map re-hearing

The Illinois Supreme Court has denied a request to reconsider its ruling that a group’s initiative to change how legislative districts are drawn is ineligible for the November ballot.

The court issued the ruling Tuesday on a 4-3 vote.

The Independent Maps coalition had collected about 563,000 signatures to ask voters whether legislative map-making power should be in the hands of an independent commission instead of lawmakers. The court ruled last month that the group’s proposal was unconstitutional.

It’s the second failed attempt to overhaul redistricting by petition in two years.

Independent Maps Chair Dennis FitzSimons said in a statement that “Illinois voters have been denied their right to vote on a constitutional amendment to remove politics” from the map-making process.

The court rarely grants rehearings.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who had supported the redistricting referendum, said he was disappointed, but not surprised by the court’s decision.

“Now that the courts have denied Illinoisans the right to vote on a redistricting referendum in November for the last time, it is up to the General Assembly to address political reform — term limits and independent redistricting — as soon as they reconvene this fall,” Rauner said.