ACLU: Illinois' recall proposal is unconstitutional

Amendment's sponsor is still urging voters to approve it

October 22, 2010

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(AP/file)
Illinois state Rep. Jack Franks sponsored the recall amendment.

A group in Illinois said a proposed amendment to the state constitution would actually violate the U.S. Constitution.

The proposed amendment, if approved by voters, would give them the power to recall a governor from office. The issue involves a requirement that said a recall petition must be signed by at least 100 people from each of at least 25 Illinois counties.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois said that requirement is unconstitutional because some Illinois counties have far fewer residents than others. So, a signature from someone living in a less-populated county carries a lot more weight than one from someone living in bigger one, like Cook County. That would violate the doctrine of one person, one vote, according to the ACLU.

State Rep. Jack Franks sponsored the recall amendment in the Illinois House.  He said he is not sure whether the ACLU is right or wrong, but is nonetheless urging voters to okay the amendment. Franks said that would give him more of a mandate to amend it later, and expand recall to include other elected officials besides just the governor.