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Illinois GOP leaders file lawsuit challenging new legislative maps

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WSIL) — A lawsuit has been filed in opposition to the new redistricting maps signed by Governor JB Pritzker.

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the legislative maps drawn and passed by Illinois Democrats in the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker. 

The lawsuit is being filed against Illinois House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch (in his official capacity), Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (in his official capacity), the offices of the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, and the Illinois State Board of Elections and its members (in their official capacities).

RELATED: Gov. Pritzker says maps are fair, but local republicans push back

The lawsuit requests that the court declare the Democrats’ plan to be unconstitutional, invalid, and void ab initio.

The lawsuit also requests that the court direct Speaker Welch and President Harmon to make their appointments to the Illinois Legislative Redistricting Commission as required by the Illinois Constitution. 

“Today’s filing should come as no surprise to Illinoisans. The partisan process upon which the legislative maps were drawn flies in the face of the strong recommendations made by countless advocacy groups and citizens who testified at the redistricting hearings,” Leader Durkin said. “The tone deaf Democratic party of Illinois has robbed citizens of a fair and transparent legislative map-making process, and I plan to be a conduit for Illinois citizens who demand honesty by ensuring they also have their day in court.”

Governor Pritzker recently signed three new maps into law: General Assembly, Supreme Court and Cook County Board of Review.

The governor’s office says the district boundaries account for population changes in the state, particularly in the regions that saw the most population loss as recorded by U.S. Census’ American Community Survey.

The lawsuit argues that the use of American Community Survey (ACS) estimates violates the federal law, including well established “one-person, one-vote” principles under the U.S. Constitution.

“Today we are entering court on behalf of the thousands of families, small business owners, workers, and taxpayers who said they wanted an independently drawn map, not the one handed down by political insiders desperately clinging to power,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods). “We believe this is our best option to advocate for the 75 percent of voters who were refused an independent process and a map created with accurate data. More than 50 independent groups asked the legislature not to use American Community Survey sampling estimates, and instead wait for the actual Census counts to be released, but the politicians in power ignored them. ACS estimates have never before been used for redistricting in Illinois, and we plan to challenge the legitimacy of these maps to the fullest extent of the law.”

Leaders Durkin and McConchie will make their appointments soon and have pledged to work with those commissioners and the Democratic Leaders to adopt a transparent, bipartisan and independent process for drawing and approving a legislative map after the release of official census data in August.

Read the full lawsuit here: (Click here if you're reading on the 13 WREX App).

McConchie-v.-Illinois-State-Board-of-Elections-Complaint

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