NPR Story
6:13 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Appellate Court Confirms: Term Limits Not Eligible For Ballot

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 3:45 pm

  For the second time, a court has deemed unconstitutional a citizen's initiative to would limit how long Illinois lawmakers can serve.

First, it was a Cook County Circuit Court judge.

Now, the decision is from a state appellate court.

Both say the question of term limits for state legislators should not go before voters on the November ballot.

The state Constitution says citizen's initiatives, like this one, must be limited to "structural and procedural" changes to the legislature.

The courts basically found that, by definition, term limits aren't either; They're a change to the "eligibility or qualifications" for office.

The push for term limits has been led and bankrolled by Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, who says he'll appeal again, this time to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Here's the director of the term limits committee, Steve Merican:

"Only, in my view, can the Illinois Supreme Court give us the relief that we're looking for," he said.

But the Supreme Court has previously rejected a term limits initiative — brought in the 1990s by none other than Gov. Pat Quinn, Rauner's opponent.

Time is short to get this resolved since elections authorities are finalizing the ballot Friday.

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