Preliminary hearings in the case of McConchie v. Illinois have begun. Filed by Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie to challenge the partisan legislative maps signed into law earlier this year, the lawsuit had its first hearing on July 14.
Filed against Illinois House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch, Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, the offices of the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, and the Illinois State Board of Elections and its members, the lawsuit argues that the American Community Survey (ACS) data used to draw the legislative maps violates federal law.
During redistricting hearings earlier this year, Republican lawmakers argued that the use of such inaccurate and outdated data would undercount minority, rural and growing communities throughout Illinois. Despite their requests to Democrat lawmakers urging them to wait for more accurate Census data to draw legislative borders, Majority party leaders pushed through partisan maps before the conclusion of spring legislative session. On June 4, Gov. JB Pritzker broke his campaign promise and signed the gerrymandered legislative maps into law.
Republican lawmakers maintain, however, that ACS data violates the “one-person, one-vote” principles of the U.S. Constitution, making the maps unconstitutional.
Senator Sue Rezin is optimistic that the courts will agree to overturn the maps and allow for them to be drawn using accurate and comprehensive Census data.