A Cook County judge today ruled that proposals that would impose term limits on lawmakers and require a more independent process to draw legislative districts were unconstitutional, paving the way for an expected challenge to be decided by the Illinois Supreme Court.
The quick ruling by Cook County Judge Mary Mikva allows the appeals process to begin to determine whether the two proposals will appear before voters on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Mikva said that in deciding previous cases, the Illinois Supreme Court’s “precedent dictates a very narrow provision for allowing the voters to directly enact amendments to the Illinois Constitution.”
Mikva ruled that “any term limits initiative appears to be outside what is permissible” under the state constitution and previous court rulings. She said term limits by themselves have been found not to affect “structural or procedural” changes in the legislature. She said adding other components, such as changing the number of senators and representatives “cannot save this initiative.”