U.S. Supreme Court won't hear Illinois Republicans' redistricting complaint


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Originally Posted Online: Oct. 01, 2012, 2:57 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 01, 2012, 11:03 pm
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CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal from Illinois Republicans on newly drawn legislative boundaries, a move that state Democrats said affirmed that the map is fair.

The nation's high court gave no reason for declining. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Tom Cross filed the appeal, claiming the Democrat-drawn lines were unfair to minority groups and GOP voters. Lower courts had thrown out their complaints.

"The court's ruling today is unfortunate and disappointing in light of the valid Voting Rights Act violations contained in the Democrats' legislative map," said a joint statement from Radogno and Cross. "We had voluminous studies by respected scholars to demonstrate our position, and they unfortunately will not get to be considered in a court of law."

Other Republicans — including Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady— said it wasn't surprising, since the high court doesn't hear too many cases.

Political boundaries for the U.S. House and state legislative districts are redrawn every decade based on new Census data. In Illinois, Democrats ran the process because they control the General Assembly and the governor's office. The new maps were signed into law last year, but have undergone several legal challenges.

Republicans objected to both the congressional and legislative maps, which they said drew Republicans out of their districts and lumped incumbent GOP members together or threw them into Democrat-friendly territory. Republicans also claimed that black and Latino voters had been shortchanged because the boundaries fractured ethic communities and weakened voting strength.

Challenges to the congressional map were heard by lower courts in Illinois, but ultimately failed.

Several U.S. representatives were affected by the new boundaries and chose to run in other districts to avoid challenging incumbents. It played out most clearly in Illinois' 16th District, where first-term U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger unseated longtime U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo in the March primary after switching districts.

The new map also reduces the number of congressional seats in Illinois — from 19 to 18 — because the state didn't grow as fast as others.

Democrats have defended both maps and said Monday that it was time to push forward.

The decision is "confirmation of what the Legislature and governor did a number of months ago," said Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is head of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

"They met the requirements a number of months ago to put together a good solid redistricting plan," he said.














 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.






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