Illinois state court blocks new law that changed ballot access rules after primary

Back on May 5, I highlighted a new election law in Illinois that changed the rules for ballot access after the primary election, blocking a number of candidates from obtaining major party ballot access through the alternative “slating” route that they were relying on. (I also noted the unusual lack of media coverage, and since then, there hasn’t been much more, but this AP story did cover it, and the president of the League of Women Voters of Illinois had this op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times critiquing the law.)

Yesterday afternoon, a state court judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law. You can see early coverage from the Chicago Tribune, the Center Square, and the Daily Northwestern. (And as with last time, no other apparent media coverage outside the state of Illinois.) Of note from the Daily Northwestern:

Attorney Hal Dworkin, who represented the Illinois Attorney General, argued the preliminary injunction could set several negative precedents for the Illinois government. For one, several previous court cases have applied strict scrutiny only when a change in electoral policy completely negated the election results, Dworkin said. 

The case may well be appealed, and this is only a preliminary injunction (final hearing is June 3), but it’s a swift reprisal in a state court, using (it appears) a state constitution’s “right to vote” provision, against a law enacted just a couple of weeks ago. We’ll see if we get a written order in the near future and how that might be used in future litigation.

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