Statehouse
5:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Supreme Court Won't Take Up Term Limits

Credit Illinois Supreme Court

  An effort to institute term limits in Illinois has hit a major road block. The state Supreme Court says it will not rush to hear the case.

 The Supreme Court's decision could be the end of Republican Bruce Rauner's term limits initiative.

Limiting how long legislators can be in Illinois' General Assembly has been a staple of his campaign for governor.

That takes a change in the constitution. Rauner's group collected over a half million signatures so that question could be put to voters on the November ballot.

But late last month, Cook County Judge Mary Mikva ruled that the term limits proposal was itself unconstitutional.

Rauner's attorneys appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

An expedited hearing would be necessary, in order for the matter to be sorted by Aug. 22, the deadline for the state elections board to certify the ballot.

The Supreme Court has denied that motion; the court order gave no indication as to why. That could doom the chances for it making it on the ballot this fall.

Rauner's opponent, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, had also pursued instituting term limits, in 1994, but his proposal was also found to be unconstitutional. Judge Mikva had cited that decision in her ruling that shot down Rauner's attempt.

Mikva likewise this summer ruled that a plan to change how Illinois draws legislative districts defied the state constitution.