An Illinois appellate court has written the obituary for virtually any citizen-led effort, ever, to impose term limits on state lawmakers.
Wednesday's ruling from the First District Court of Appeals about legislative term limits in Illinois upholds a June decision by Cook County Circuit Judge Mary Mikva that found the proposed amendment unconstitutional and ineligible for inclusion on the ballot.
The appeals court affirmed Mikva's ruling. It says that term limits are outside the bounds of citizen initiatives. The Illinois constitution specifies that citizen-initiated constitutional amendments (as opposed to those initiated by lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly) can seek to change only the structure and procedure of the legislature.
One section worth noting can be found on page 10, paragraph 22 of the opinion:
Based on the cases discussed above, some components of the Committee's proposed amendment may very well comply with article XIV, section 3. However, the proposed amendment is ultimately invalid because of its term limits provision.
Essentially, this means term limits are off limits from citizen-initiated constitutional amendment proposals. Only the General Assembly, which is not limited in the scope of constitutional amendments it can pursue, can place a term limits question on the ballot. Check out the court's full decision at Reboot Illinois.
Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner has been at the forefront of the term limits fight. But how is his fight for the governership going? Paul Green has some thoughts for Rauner and Gov. Pat Quinn on how to make the most of the next few months on the campaign trail throughout the different regions of Illinois. Green said knows money, issues, personalities, endorsements and other factors can all impact the race. But the only thing that really matters in November is what the voters do. How can Quinn and Rauner win over Illinois voters?