Illinois Supreme Court To Meet Temporarily In Chicago

Aug 29, 2013

The Illinois Supreme Court will meet in Chicago for at least the next year. The court's usual home in Springfield is undergoing a major renovation.

Credit Illinois Supreme Court

The $12.6 million project began this summer. Workers are completely redoing the century-old building's ventilation system, as well as restoring the historic murals that line the walls of the courtroom.

Spokesman Joe Tybor says the move to Chicago is a big change for the justices.

"For the first time since the Supreme Court building was opened in 1908 in Springfield, the Supreme Court is hearing ... the full term of oral arguments outside of Springfield, and that will be in Chicago." -Joe Tybor, Illinois Supreme Court Spokesman

The justices will meet in the Bilandic Building in downtown Chicago. The court already has offices there, and there is a courtroom with seven seats to accommodate the seven justices on the 18th floor of that building, Tybor said.

The court is scheduled to hear 17 cases in its September term. That includes a closely-watched challenge to a law that forces state retirees to begin paying health insurance premiums.

A ruling against the state could be significant as lawmakers consider even harsher cuts to workers' pension benefits. It could affect what lawmakers think they can or can't do in dealing with Illinois' $100 billion pension shortfall.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report.