Illinois Constitution: convention call in November
Illinois citizens will be asked to vote November 8 on the question of whether or not the state should hold a constitutional convention. The last such convention, which resulted in the document now governing the state, was held in 1969-70. To assist voters in determining how to cast their ballots on this issue, the following items are listed (some were previously mentioned in this column):
■ Background Papers for the Committee of 50 to Re-Examine the Illinois Constitution (listed in January 1988); individual papers or complete set available from Illinois Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation, 707 Stratton Bldg., Springfield 62706.
Titles and authors of the 10 papers are "Constitutional Developments in Illinois" by Samuel K. Gove (15 pp.); "The Bill of Rights of the 1970 Constitution" by John M. Garvey (7 pp.); "The Suffrage, Elections and Constitutional Revision Articles" by John Jackson (11 pp.); "The Executive Article" by William R. Monat (14 pp.); "The Legislative Article" by Jack R. Van Der Slik (11 pp.); "The Judicial Article" by Nancy Ford (12 pp.); "The Local Government Article" by James M. Banovetz and Ann Elder (13 pp.); "The Public Finance Article" by J. Fred Giertz (9 pp.); "The Education Article" by Donald Sevener (12 pp.); and "Legislative Redistricting in Illinois: An Historical Analysis" by Paul M. Green (33 pp.).
■ The 1970 Illinois Constitution: Has It Made a Difference? (listed in March 1988), Ann Lousin, professor of law, John Marshall Law School, 315 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago 60604.
This lengthy (117 pp.) essay describes the Constitution itself, controversies at the 1969-70 convention and points out areas of continuing discussion.
■ Constitutional Convention Study Guide: Does Illinois Need a New Constitution?, League of Women Voters of Illinois, 332 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60604 (1987), 112 pp., 75 cents/copy.
The guide discusses the various issues that are most likely to be raised if a constitutional convention is held, including sections in the Bill of Rights dealing with discrimination, religious freedom, right to arms and the limitation of penalties after conviction; the governor's veto power in the Legislative Article; the method by which judges are selected in the Judiciary Article; the home-rule section in Article VII; several aspects of the Education Article and the Revenue Article; and the methods for revising the Constitution contained in Article XIV. In most of these cases the league states its position on the issue and ends by listing five statements in favor and five against holding a convention.
■ "The Amendatory Veto Revisited: How Far Can the Governor's Magic Constitutional Pen Reach?" by Kirk W. Dillard in Illinois Bar Journal (July 1988), pp. 598-603.
This article zeroes in on one of the many issues dealt with in the league pamphlet. It suggests several reasons why a governor would want to have the power of an amendatory veto, but it also points out a major problem with this power: Its scope was not well defined. The article discusses both legislative and judicial responses to this problem and concludes that "the Illinois Supreme Court has provided an interpretation of the amendatory veto authority that is judicious and that works."
■ The 1970 Illinois Constitution in Review: A Symposium on Issues for Change, Northern Illinois University Law Review, Vol. 8, no. 3 (1988), Swen Parson Hall 175, DeKalb 60115; $6.
The introduction, nine articles and a very lengthy bibliography contained in this issue of the NIU Law Review should provide even the most demanding citizen with sufficient information to cast a carefully considered ballot on the constitution question this fall. The Review and the Illinois Bar Foundation, which supported this effort, are to be commended for making these thought-provoking essays available. The introduction is by Samuel W. Witwer. The bibliography is by Ann Lousin; although massive, it is clearly organized and highly usable. The titles of the articles indicate the wide range of issues covered (in some cases authors have expanded on the background papers prepared for the Committee of 50):
"The 1970 Illinois Constitution: Has It Made A Difference?" by Ann Lousin (this is the same essay above); "The Power of State Constitutions in Protecting Individual Rights" by the California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk; "From Judicial Election to Merit Selection: A Time for Change in Illinois" by Nancy Ford; "Illinois Home Rule and Taxation: A new Approach to Local Government Enabling Authority" by James Banovetz and Thomas Kelty; "The Education Article of the 1970 Illinois Constitution: Selected Policy Issues for Consideration and Debate at the Next Constitutional Convention" by B. Douglas Anderson; "Reconsidering the Amendatory Veto for Illinois" by Jack R. Van Der Slik; "A Search for Accountability: Judicial Discipline Under the Judicial Article of the 1970 Illinois State Constitution" by Pinky Wassenberg; "Limits on State Taxation and Spending: Implications for the Illinois Constitutional Convention Referendum" by J. Fred Giertz and David L. Chicoine; "Increased and Accessible Illinois Judicial Rulemaking" by Jeffrey A. Parness and Bruce Elliot Keller.
Oral histories of legislators
■ Illinois Statecraft: A Collection of Oral History Memoirs on Modem Illinois Government and Politics, Oral History Office, Sangamon State University; Brookens 377, Springfield 62794-9243.
The oral history memoirs of 12 former Illinois legislators have been or will be published this year. The first of these memoirs was published in 1980 and the last is scheduled for 1990. The series on former legislators will consist of 35 memoirs, some of which have been listed in this column since 1980.
Among the 1988 titles is the memoir of Anthony Scariano. In 1956 he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives where he took a special interest in legislative and judicial reform and education. His memoir follows the same format as the others in the series and contains 225 pages. All of the oral histories include questions about issues and events that are of historical importance, and the spontaneous and refreshingly candid responses given by the former legislators, make these memoirs a rich source of information about how state government works in Illinois. For example, in 1963 when Scariano was a member of the School Problems Commission, Gov. Otto Kerner had indicated that there was no money for an increase in the foundation level, and the House leadership wanted to avoid a fight on the issue. Scariano recalls: "Well I kicked up my heels. It wasn't a partisan fight. It was a fight of the Independents versus the regulars is what it was. . . . I was practically alone in my fight to raise the foundation level. And I argued that we could get the money, that the money would be there. There was cigarette tax money available and there was some sales tax money available. So I fought practically a lone fight. . . . I got in touch with every school district. . . . Well, by golly, we passed it in the House. . . . We did the same thing in the Senate."
Memoirs published (or planned for publication) in 1988 include:
George Burditt, Robert Burhans, Marion Burks, George Dunne, William Grindle, Harold Katz, Leland Kennedy, Clyde Lee, Donald O'Brien, Leland Rayson, Harris Rowe, Esther Saperstein, Anthony Scariano, Gale Williams and Carl Wittmond.
Memoirs previously published include: Charles Clabaugh, Corneal Davis, Frances Dawson, John Fribley, John Gilbert, Martin Lohmann (out of print), Robert McCarthy, Thomas McGloon, John Parkhurst, Cecil Partee (out of print), Paul Randolph, William Redmond, Walter J. Reum, Edward Saltiel, Elbert Smith and Bernice Van Der Vries.
Forthcoming titles include: Susan Catania (1989), William Harris (1990), James Holloway (1989) and Roland Tipsword (1989).
Anna J. Merritt
August & September 1988 | Illinois Issues | 63