Ex-Governor Loses Lawsuit to Force Chicago School Board Elections

by | February 16, 2017 AT 12:01 PM

By Juan Perez Jr.

A federal judge this week rejected an effort by a group of residents and former Gov. Pat Quinn to force the city to adopt an elected school board.

In a lawsuit filed in October, Quinn and his fellow plaintiffs argued that a mayoral-appointed board violated the group's constitutional and civil rights, and that the board raises the issue of taxation without representation.

The lawsuit included a demand that the city and Chicago Board of Education create a plan allowing for the election of school board members.

U.S. District Court Judge Elaine E. Bucklo rejected those claims in a 31-page opinion issued Monday.

"Plaintiffs have no fundamental right to vote in school board elections as a matter of law, and the fact that residents of other Illinois jurisdictions have the privilege of voting in such elections in their districts does not confer such a right upon residents of Chicago," Bucklo wrote.

Quinn and the community members filed a similar complaint in the fall with the Cook County Chancery Division, alleging their inability to vote for school board members violated their rights under the Illinois constitution.

That case is still pending. A judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on a request to dismiss the case later this month.

(c)2017 the Chicago Tribune