SPRINGFIELD - Wednesday, the Appellate Court upheld a lower court ruling that the Term Limits Initiative is unconstitutional and thus, will not be included on the November 2014 ballot.
In response, Bruce Rauner, Chairman of the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits, directed the term limit effort's legal team to immediately file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court to take up the matter.
“Let the people of Illinois decide for themselves if they want to term limit legislators. Time is running out - the Illinois Supreme Court needs to take the case. Nearly 600,000 Illinoisans signed the petition to put our amendment on the November ballot and the State Board of Elections has certified that we submitted enough signatures to be on the ballot. The people deserve to have their voices heard.” Rauner said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. “The Illinois Supreme Court should not ignore the people of Illinois.”
The Appellate Court affirmed the Cook County Circuit Court ruling, which found the term limits initiative unacceptable under two provisions in the State Constitution: Article XIV, Section 3, which governs ballot initiatives to amend the constitution, and Article III, Section 3, known as the "free and equal clause."
"Because the proposed No. 1-14-1937 -3- amendment violates both Article XIV, Section 3, and the free and equal clause, we affirm the circuit court's judgment," the Appellate Court decision says.
The amendment, which would limit lawmakers terms to eight years and make changes to the legislature and raise the veto override threshold from three fifths to two-thirds, was circulated as a petition to Illinois voters by the Conmmittee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits.
Rauner, who is running for governor on the November ballot, said Wednesday that the amendment was written according to the Illinois Constitutional specifications.
“Our Term Limits and Reform amendment was carefully crafted to meet all the requirements that the Illinois Supreme Court very clearly laid out in its 1994 decision and we are hopeful that the Illinois Supreme Court will find in favor of the citizens of Illinois,” Rauner said.
Four Democrats and three Republicans serve on the elected Illinois Supreme Court.