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Illinois Judicial Reform

Illinois Legislature: Tom Cross Opposes Madigan Judicial Reform Amendment


House Speaker Michael Madigan

(Chicago, IL) — March 21, 2010. House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) wants House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) to deep-six his constitutional amendment to require Illinois judges to have at least 10 years of experience as a lawyer.

Madigan’s plan, Constitutional Amendment 57, would require that a judicial candidate be a licensed attorney for at least 10 years to become a circuit judge, 12 years for an appellate justice, and 15 years for a Supreme Court justice.

Cross, who is pushing his pet legislative redistricting constitutional amendment, CA 56, as a tool–in the absence of competent election campaigns–to gain majority control of the House, opposes Madigan’s amendment.

“We believe it is a tactic by the Speaker,” said Cross, who sent Madigan a letter seeking to stall the amendment, according to the State Journal-Register‘s Brian Feldt.

Constitutional amendments must be approved by voter referendum on a general election ballot, and there is three-amendment maximum to the ballot.

Cross is worried that his tactic, er, amendment–and his hope of gaining a House majority–will get squeezed off the November ballot by the multitude of competing amendments seeking to elbow themselves into one of the three slots.

It probably will.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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David Ormsby, Editor

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