Federal Judge Rejects GOP Bid to Throw Out Democrat-Led Legislative Maps

By Benjamin Cox on August 24, 2021 at 9:26pm

A federal judge has rejected Republican efforts to immediately invalidate a Democratic-drawn map of new legislative districts in the state.

The Chicago Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Dow said the the Illinois GOP’s June request to throw out the maps was denied. However, Dow rejected Democratic attempts to throw out the case entirely saying that the lawsuit is slated to be heard before a 3-judge panel on September 1st. Dow warned Democrats that they should address concerns about undercounted minority populations when they convene a special legislative session to update their map with figures from the recently released U.S. census on August 31st.

Republicans and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed suit against the map shortly after the maps were approved by the General Assembly during their Spring session and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker in June, to avoid a constitutional deadline that would have required a bipartisan commission draw the maps. The Spring map was drawn using American Community Survey data, which overestimated the state’s population loss. The ILGOP claims that the map resulted in a near 30% deviation from its most populous House district to its least populous district — with a 10% deviation the standard of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Illinois Democrats have scheduled 7 public hearings leading up to the August 31st special session.