Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (3/1)

March 1, 2024


Judge orders former President Trump removed from Illinois primary ballot, Trump appeals

On Wednesday, Cook County Judge Tracie Porter ruled that former President Donald Trump was disqualified from the March 19 Illinois Republican primary ballot under an interpretation of a provision of the 14th Amendment that bars from office those who engaged in an insurrection after previously taking an oath to support the Constitution.

With this ruling, Illinois became the third state to declare Trump ineligible to run for the presidency because of his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump filed an appeal Thursday. His name remains on ballots for now, as Trump’s attorneys pursue their appeal.

The final outcome of this case and similar challenges in other states will likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard arguments related to Trump’s ballot eligibility on Feb. 8.


Transportation leaders urge Pritzker to not divert road funds to Chicago transit

“Transportation industry leaders are urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker and legislative leaders to keep their promise to Rebuild Illinois and stop the diversion of road funds to fill funding gaps in Chicago public transit,” by The Center Square.

Federal judge lays out roadmap for how challenge to Illinois’ gun ban proceeds

“A federal judge handling the district level lawsuit challenging Illinois’ gun and magazine ban laid out a roadmap Wednesday for how the trial on the merits should proceed,” by The Center Square.

County board approves agreement for brownfield remediation in south suburbs, digital security contract, agreement for hazardous waste disposal facility

“The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a digital security contract, an agreement with South Suburban College for a hazardous waste disposal facility and an agreement with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association for brownfield remediation during its Thursday meeting,” by The Daily Line.

ComEd bribery sentencings postponed while Supreme Court reviews Indiana corruption case

“A federal judge agreed to postpone the sentencings of four people convicted last year for a nearly decade-long conspiracy to bribe former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on an Indiana corruption case,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Mayor Johnson outlines vision for downtown revitalization 

At the Chicago Loop Alliance annual meeting Thursday, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced he was establishing a new downtown economic growth advisory committee “that will provide business leaders, organizations and key stakeholders with a direct line of communication” with his office and all of the city’s departments.

In his speech, the mayor said he wants to bring workers back to downtown, citing concerns about “the record level of commercial and retail vacancies.”

The city plans to provide more support for restaurants and stores in the Loop, an area still struggling to fully recover from the pandemic. Six restaurants will receive grants of up to $250,000 for storefront and interior renovations as part of a Small Business Improvement Fund.

The city will also pay for upgrades at the future site of a downtown museum featuring the Board of Trade’s history. Other Loop businesses can apply for a new round of funding in September.


‘Bring Chicago Home’ coalition files court briefs in bid to reinstate referendum

“With the fate of the so-called Bring Chicago Home campaign in court limbo, steadfast supporters filed amicus briefs and rallied Friday in a bid to reinstate the ballot referendum to raise real estate transfer tax revenue to fight homelessness,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Civic groups call on mayor, aldermen to enact City Council ethics reforms

“The leaders of the Better Government Association, the Civic Federation and the League of Women Voters of Chicago called for more transparency and better public access in the body in a letter shared publicly Thursday to Johnson and the council Rules Committee chair, Ald. Michelle Harris, 8th,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Taxpayers to Spend an Additional $4.2M to Allow CPD to Use ShotSpotter Through November

“It will cost Chicago taxpayers an additional $4.2 million to allow the Chicago Police Department to continue using ShotSpotter for an additional nine months, bringing the total cost of the contract extension inked by Mayor Brandon Johnson just hours before the city was set to lose access to the controversial gunshot detection system to $8.6 million,” by WTTW.


Cozen Currents: The Double Haters

  • Former President Trump’s first criminal trial is scheduled to begin next month, and recent polling suggests a conviction in any of the four prosecutions he is facing could significantly damage his re-election prospects.
  • In an era where presidents are elected by a few thousand votes across a handful of states, third parties more than have the potential to flip the outcome, especially this cycle.
  • Although passing a comprehensive federal data privacy law remains elusive, momentum could be building for a narrowly targeted measure to protect children’s online privacy and safety.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: The Ebb & Flow of Capitol Hill

Despite the influx of dollars into Nikki Haley’s campaign, the South Carolina primary could mark its end of the road. But, until the financial well runs dry, will Haley power through in the off-chance Trump’s court cases take a political toll? Looking to Washington, the Public Strategies team analyzes the ebb and flow of Capitol Hill over the last decade, including a loss of bipartisan socialization, a degradation of party unity, and a consolidation of executive power.

Listen to the Beltway Briefing here.

If you have any questions regarding this update or if you’re interested in ways to engage on these issues, please contact one of our team members here.


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