Illinois Judge Slaps Down Democrats’ Attempt To Bar Republicans From Ballot

Illinois Judge Slaps Down Democrats’ Attempt To Bar Republicans From Ballot
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (Image: YouTube screen grab)

By Jeff Charles

An Illinois judge ruled Wednesday against a Democratic effort to bar Republicans from running for statewide office by altering election laws midway through the campaign season.

Illinois Democrats had attempted to use its supermajority to pass legislation rewriting the rules by which political parties can select candidates, according to the Cook County Record. Republicans reportedly pilloried the effort as a blatant attempt to stop GOP candidates from challenging incumbent Democratic state lawmakers in the upcoming elections.

Sangamon County Circuit Judge Gail Noll sided with the 14 prospective Republican candidates for the state legislature and ruled that the law, officially labeled Public Act 103-0586, was an unconstitutional effort by Democrats to alter the rules in the middle of the election to benefit their candidates, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Law Firm Halts Dem State Board Of Elections Attempted Rule Change)

In response to the legislation, the Liberty Justice Center had filed a lawsuit challenging the new law, which ends the practice of “slating,” according to the organization’s press release. This is a process parties have used to put candidates in place on the general election ballot when no candidates run in the party’s primary elections. The party is allowed to nominate its own candidate as long as the candidate gathers the required number of petition signatures.

However, Democrats passed the law less than two days after the measure was introduced, the press release continues. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law, which removed the “slating” provision, effective immediately.” This occurred right in the middle of the slating process, the Liberty Justice Center explains.

Jeffrey Schwab, Senior Counsel for the organization, celebrated the ruling, according to the press release. “The General Assembly can change the rules for elections, but they can’t do it in the middle of the game to keep challengers off the ballot. We are proud to stand up for these candidates and against yet another scheme to suppress competition in Illinois elections,” he said.

The judge’s ruling applies only to the use of the “slating” process in this current election, according to the Cook County Record. It does not address whether the law would be allowed to stand in future races, the outlet reported.


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