Illinois

State website: State Senate Committee, State House Committee
2010-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House  « NEW 
2000-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House
Primary governing law: Ill. Const. art. IV, §§ 2-3

The Latest

Congress: On May 31, 2011, the state legislature passed SB 1178, which was signed by the Governor on June 24, 2011. On December 15, legal challenges to that plan were dismissed.

State leg.: On May 27, 2011, the state legislature passed SB 1177, which was signed by the Governor on June 3, 2011. Court challenges to the plans were rejected.

  • Institution

    Redistricting political control:

    Governor State Senate State House
    Congressional lines D 35 D, 24 R 64 D, 54 R
    State legislative lines D 35 D, 24 R 64 D, 54 R
    2000 cong. lines R 27 D, 32 R 62 D, 56 R
    2000 state lines R 27 D, 32 R 62 D, 56 R

    Illinois' congressional lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. The members of the state House committee with responsibility for redistricting are listed here; the memters of the state Senate committee are listed here.

    The legislature is also primarily responsible for drawing state legislative lines. If it fails to pass a plan, authority falls to an eight-member backup commission, in place since 1980. Each of the four legislative leaders (majority and minority leader in each legislative house) chooses two commissioners apiece: one legislator and one member of the public; at most four may have the same party affiliation. If a majority of those eight commissioners cannot agree on a plan, the Supreme Court submits two individuals from different political parties to the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State will randomly choose one of the two to serve as a tiebreaker on the commission. In the 2000 cycle, the name of the commission's tiebreaker was selected by pulling a commissioner's name from a replica of Lincoln's stovepipe hat. [Ill. Const. art. IV, § 3]

    The Illinois Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear challenges to state legislative plans in state court. [Ill. Const. art. IV, § 3]


  • Timing

    Census data were delivered to Illinois on February 14, 2011.

    Illinois state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by December 5, 2011. [10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-12(1)]

    The legislature's deadline for drawing state legislative lines is June 30, 2011; if the legislature fails to pass a plan by then, the backup commission will be convened. The commission's first eight members have until August 10, 2011 to produce a plan, whereupon the tiebreaker will be appointed. The final deadline for the nine-member backup commission is October 5, 2011. [Ill. Const. art. IV, § 3(b)] Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by December 5, 2011. [10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-12(1)]

    Illinois prohibits redrawing state legislative lines mid-decade, before the next Census; there is no similar provision pertaining to congressional lines. [Ill. Const. art. IV, § 3(b); Mooney v. Hutchinson, 50 N.E. 599 (Ill. 1898)]


  • Public input

    A recent Illinois statute requires legislative redistricting committees to hold at least one public hearing in each of four distinct geographic regions of the state, in order to receive testimony from the public. [Redistricting Transparency and Public Participation Act, SB3976, 96th Gen. Assem., Reg. Sess. (Ill. 2011)] The legislature may alter these requirements by a subsequent statute.

    A schedule of public hearings from March through May 2011, along with testimony and comments from those hearings, is available here for the state Senate, and here for the state House. The state Senate committee's invitation letter describes the sort of testimony desired.

    After maps were produced, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform issued Mapping in the Dark, a report highly critical of the redistricting process as providing only a "facade of transparency."


  • Criteria

    Like all states, Illinois must comply with constitutional equal population requirements and with section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. A recent Illinois statute further directs the redistricting body to create, where legally and pragmatically possible, state legislative districts that allow racial or language minority communities to elect -- or influence the election of -- the candidates of their choice, even if no comparable district would be required by the federal Voting Rights Act. [Illinois Voting Rights Act of 2011, SB3976, 96th Gen. Assem., Reg. Sess. (Ill. 2011)] The legislature may alter these requirements by a subsequent statute.

    For Illinois' state legislative lines, the state constitution further requires that districts be contiguous and reasonably compact. There are no similar requirements for congressional lines. [Ill. Const. art. IV, § 3(a); People ex rel. Burris v. Ryan, 588 N.E.2d 1023, 1028 (Ill. 1991); Schrage v. State Bd. of Elections, 430 N.E.2d 483 (Ill. 1981)]


  • 2010 cycle cases

    League of Women Voters of Ill. v. Quinn, No. 1:11-cv-05569 (N.D. Ill.) & No. 11-943 (Sup. Ct.): a challenge in federal court to the promulgated state and congressional districts, based on an allegedly unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.
         - Trial court
              - Complaint (Aug. 16, 2011), and amended complaint (Sept. 1).
              - Motion to dismiss (Sept. 8), opposition (Sept. 23), reply (Sept. 30).
              - Decision dismissing case (Oct. 28).
         - U.S. Supreme Court
              - Jurisdictional statement (Jan. 27).
              - State's motion to affirm (Apr. 16).
              - Reply (Apr. 30).
              - Summary affirmance (May 21).
    The latest: On October 28, the court dismissed the case, finding no First Amendment violation in the use of partisan data to conduct redistricting, because such redistricting placed no cognizable burden on citizens' ability to express political choices. On appeal, the decision was summarily affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 21.

    Radogno v. Illinois State Board of Elections, No. 1:11-cv-04884 (N.D. Ill.) & No. 11-1127 (Sup. Ct.): a challenge in federal court to the promulgated state legislative districts, based on alleged violations of the federal Voting Rights Act, unconstitutional partisan and racial gerrymandering, violations of the state's requirement that districts be reasonably compact, and violations of alleged state procedural requirements.
         - Trial court
              - Original (July 20, 2011), 1st (Aug. 10), 2nd amended complaint (Oct. 31).
              - Motion to dismiss (Aug. 25), opposition (Sept. 6), reply (Sept. 13).
                   - Opinion dismissing several claims (Oct. 21).
              - Motion to dismiss partisan gerrymandering claims (Nov. 7)
                   - Response (Nov. 11), reply (Nov. 15).
                   - Opinion dismissing partisan gerrymandering claims (Nov. 22).
              - Motion for summary judgment (Nov. 7), opposition (Nov. 23).
                   - Statement of material facts by defendants (Nov. 8), response (Nov. 23).
                   - Statement of material facts by plaintiffs (Nov. 23).
                   - Opinion dismissing remaining claims (Dec. 7).
         - U.S. Supreme Court
              - Jurisdictional statement (Mar. 12).
              - State's motion to affirm (June 15), reply (June 25).
              - Summary affirmance (Oct. 1). The latest: On October 21, the court dismissed claims filed under the Illinois State constitution, a facial challenge to Illinois' new state Voting Rights Act, and a political gerrymandering claim under the First Amendment; preserved claims of racial gerrymandering; and granted permission to file an amended complaint to address standing concerns with respect to the Voting Rights Act, and to propose a standard for political gerrymandering claims under the Fourteenth Amendment. That amended complaint was filed on October 31, and the court again found the political gerrymandering claims insufficient, dismissing them. On December 7, the court dismissed the remaining racial gerrymandering and Voting Rights Act claims. The decision was summarily affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 1, 2012.

    Brady v. Madigan, No. _____ (Ill. Sup Ct.): a challenge in state court to the constitutionality of the random selection of a tiebreaker for the state's backup commission, in the event that the legislature fails to draw state legislative districts. The suit also asks the Illinois Supreme Court to prohibit redistricting until the court rules on the challenge to the state procedure.
         - Complaint (May 10, 2011).
         - Introductory brief (May 10, 2011).
    The latest: On June 15, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to take the case.

    Committee for a Fair and Balanced Map v. Ill. State Bd. of Elections, No. 1:11-cv-05065 (N.D. Ill.): a challenge in federal court to the promulgated congressional districts, based on alleged violations of the federal Voting Rights Act, and unconstitutional partisan and racial gerrymandering.
         - Complaint (July 27, 2011), amended complaint (Nov. 4).
         - Motion for preliminary injunction (Aug. 4), withdrawn Aug. 24.
         - Motion to dismiss (Aug. 31), response (Sept. 28), reply (Oct. 12), surreply (Oct. 17).
              - Opinion granting in part and denying in part motion to dismiss (Nov. 1).
         - Opinion on subpoena scope (disclosing communications w/ outside entities) (Oct. 15).
         - Motion for permanent injunction (Nov. 4), response (Nov. 14).
         - Motion to dismiss partisan gerrymandering claims (Nov. 11), opposition (Nov. 15).
         - Opinion rejecting challenge and upholding districts (Dec. 15).
    The latest: On November 1, the court issued an opinion preserving claims of racial gerrymandering and violations of the Voting Rights Act, and dismissing claims of partisan gerrymandering (with permission to file an amended complaint proposing a workable standard for such claims under the Fourteenth Amendment). Plaintiffs filed that amended complaint, and a motion for permanent injunction, on November 4. A hearing was held on November 17 and 18, and on December 15, the court rejected the remaining claims on the merits.

    Cross v. Ill. State Bd. of Elections, No. 113840 (Ill. Sup. Ct.): a challenge in the state Supreme Court to the state legislative districts, based on alleged violations of the state constitution.
         - Complaint (Feb. 8, 2012).
         - Order denying complaint as untimely (June 7).
    The latest: On June 7, the court denied permission to file a complaint challenging the state legislative plan in an original action in the state Supreme Court, on the grounds that such a challenge was untimely.



  • 2000 cycle

    In the 2000 redistricting cycle, the Illinois legislature enacted congressional plans on May 31, 2001. It could not agree on a state legislative plan, however, and the process fell to a backup commission. That commission -- with its ninth member appointed by drawing a name from a replica of Lincoln's stovepipe hat -- approved a state legislative plan on September 25, 2001.

    The congressional plan and state legislative plan were both challenged in state court, and the state legislative plan was challenged in federal court. Both plans were ultimately upheld. [Campuzano v. Ill. State Bd. of Elections, 200 F. Supp. 2d 905 (N.D. Ill. 2002); Beaubien v. Ryan, 762 N.E.2d 501 (Ill. 2001); Cole-Randazzo v. Ryan, 762 N.E.2d 485 (Ill. 2001)]


  • Other state links

    Illinois Fair Map Amendment

Congress State legislature   Maps & Data   States      
     Current status      Current status            Alabama      Indiana      Nebraska      South Carolina
     Timing      Timing            Alaska      Iowa      Nevada      South Dakota
     Authority      Authority   Litigation        Arizona      Kansas      New Hampshire      Tennessee
          Institution           Institution            Arkansas      Kentucky      New Jersey      Texas
          Party control           Party control            California      Louisiana      New Mexico      Utah
     Criteria      Criteria   Reform        Colorado      Maine      New York      Vermont
               Connecticut      Maryland      North Carolina      Virginia
               Delaware      Massachusetts      North Dakota      Washington
               Florida      Michigan      Ohio      West Virginia
         Georgia      Minnesota      Oklahoma      Wisconsin
Overview of redistricting     Further resources        Hawaii      Mississippi      Oregon      Wyoming
Why it matters Redistricting criteria        My work        Idaho      Missouri      Pennsylvania  
Public engagement Preclearance        Tools        Illinois      Montana      Rhode Island