Listen to this article

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Supreme Court will lift its pause on judicial redistricting Jan. 1, fully implementing new judicial boundaries passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this year.

The judicial district boundaries will change for the first time since being established in 1964.

The court entered the order June 7, pausing the transition to the new boundaries. Beginning Jan. 1, appeals filed in the circuit will go to the appellate district determined by the new map. The process was paused to allow for planning and implementation, according to a news release from the Illinois Supreme Court.

The new map extends the 4th District, which currently runs across central Illinois from Kankakee County to the Quad Cities. The district gains Peoria County and the Quad Cities region, both formerly in the 3rd District. Winnebago and DuPage Counties would move to the 4th District from the 2nd District.

The main points of the Supreme Court order are:

  • Circuit courts are still subject to the rule that appellate court decisions are binding to the circuit courts in their districts. For circuit courts that moved to a new appellate district, the appropriate district will be the one in which the circuit court was located at the time the case was initiated.
  • If a case is heard by one appellate district on appeal and there is a subsequent appeal is heard by a new appellate district, the new district will treat the decision of the prior district as the law of the case.
  • The Supreme Court shares district lines with the state’s appellate courts. The proposed maps will not impact the tenure of current appellate and Supreme Court justices.
  • Under the Illinois Constitution, incumbent judges can run for retention either in the counties comprising the district that elected them or in the counties comprising the new district where the judge resides.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Trending Videos