Just one vote can make a difference, and we saw that political truism in action Thursday when the vote of one Illinois Supreme Court justice maintained the state’s corrupt balance of power and told 563,974 Illinois voters not only that their opinions did not matter but that they wouldn’t even get the opportunity to be heard.
The Independent Map Amendment died 4-3 on the chamber floor at the hands of Justices Thomas Kilbride, Charles Freeman, Anne Burke and Mary Jane Theis — all Democrats. Their mouths clicked in unison to deliver Ventriloquist-in-Chief and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s very narrow interpretation of their duties and the 1970 Illinois Constitution. They claimed you and other voters do not deserve to face the question Nov. 8 of whether an independent commission should draw state legislative district boundaries rather than the legislators themselves — a task state lawmakers only managed once in 46 years without court intervention or political manipulation.
The three Republican justices all dissented, saying voters should decide this issue.
“The Illinois constitution is meant to prevent tyranny, not to enshrine it,” Justice Robert Thomas wrote in his dissent.
Justice Lloyd Karmeier then went through a 39-page dissent that basically demolishes the thin legal shelter used by the robed Democratic marionettes to derail the citizen initiative to, as President Obama has implored the nation, end practices through which “politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around.” They mimicked the Madigan platitudes that citizens can only propose constitutional amendments that change the General Assembly’s structure or procedures, not one that would add minor duties for the state’s comptroller and for the justices themselves.
Karmeier’s bottom line is that his arguments are neither support nor opposition to an independent group deciding whether a serpentine district best represents the interests of East St. Louis, Smithton and part of Lebanon, as the current system has decided.
“Whether the initiative should be adopted is a question for the voters and the voters alone to decide,” he wrote. “Our role is here is limited to determining whether Independent Maps’ otherwise valid initiative... (is) eligible for inclusion on the ballot at the November 8, 2016, general election. In the exercise of that responsibility, I would hold that it does.”
And the dissenting opinion of Chief Justice Rita Garman stated the citizens’ ability to change the state constitution was included in our constitution to “provide the people of this state with the power to act in situations where it is against the legislature’s self interest to do so. Redistricting is clearly such an issue.”
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner summed it well: “What drives people away from Illinois is the sense that our political system is broken and our government is unaccountable to the people. The Illinois system only works for the political insiders who benefit at the expense of the poor, the vulnerable and the middle class.”
Amen, and rest in pieces to the one hope we had in this bankrupt state of political hell.