June 8, 2024

Illinois’ Anti-Slating Bill Declared Unconstitutional by Circuit Judge

By Cole Christensen

On June 5, a Sangamon County judge ruled that Illinois’s recent law to end slating in elections is unconstitutional.

“Slating” is a term used for candidates who don’t run in the primary election but join afterward under a party that didn’t have anyone running. This allows them to still compete in the general election.

Senate Bill 2412 was passed and signed a month before. It received criticism for being passed after primaries, preventing candidates from slating onto Democrat or Republican tickets. In order to run for office, they would have to run as an independent, decreasing their chances of victory.

Critics also stressed how quickly Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law in less than two days, providing little room for debate over how ending slating would affect Illinois’ democracy.

This bill would have allowed 66 House seats and 12 Senate seats to go basically uncontested. A majority of these seats are held by incumbents as well, giving them an even greater advantage over other candidates.

However, the Liberty Justice Center, along with 14 Republican plaintiffs affected by the new bill, took a stand. They filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Elections, challenging the constitutionality of the bill.

Liberty Justice Center is a non-partisan, non-profit legal firm that works to protect fundamental rights.

After review, the County Judge agreed with the bill’s critics that it is unfair and contradicts democratic values and declared that that specific aspect of the bill is unconstitutional.

Now that the anti-slating rule was determined to be unconstitutional, those 14 candidates can now put their names on the ballot as Republican.

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