Getting each house of the Illinois General Assembly to pass a concealed carry law with lopsided margins looks to have been the easy part. The harder part, in many ways, is going to be getting the law implemented.
It just got a bit harder today thanks to the machinations of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She has filed a motion to stay the 7th Circuit's 180 day mandate to have a concealed carry law in place for another 30 days. She gives as her rationale that it would give Gov. Pat Quinn "a reasonable time to fulfill his constitutional duties." The Illinois Constitution gives the governor 60 days after a bill's passage to consider and sign it. That amount of time is one of the longest in the nation according to the National Governor's Association.
Madigan argues that the additional time is necessary to avoid having no state law in place which she says was the court's original intent of the 180-day stay of its mandate.
The expiration of the stay on June 9 without a substitute law in place would present a significant harm, not to the defendants in an individualized or official capacity, but to the People and Constitution of Illinois. The current stay of this Court’s mandate expires in less than one week, significantly shortening the sixty-day period constitutionally afforded the Governor to consider and sign legislation into law. Expiration of the stay on June 9 will either eliminate that constitutionally-provided period entirely or create a gap in state firearm regulation. These represent unnecessary harms to the public interest.Madigan goes on to argue that 30 days is only for the "orderly completion of the legislative process and is not intended for purposes of delay." If this is indeed the case, one might well ask why Madigan isn't asking for 51 days or the full amount of time left for Gov. Quinn to either sign or veto the bill under the Illinois Constitution.
Madigan concludes her argument by saying she recognizes that a delay of a constitutional right imposes a burden upon the plaintiffs but that is outweighed by the public's interest in not having a period where no law is in effect.
It should be noted that Madigan still has another 21 days left on her extension in which to file a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court appealing this case. There is no word on what she intends to do regarding that.
UPDATE: Despite it being highly irregular and that a stay would seem to violate many of the Rules of Federal Appellate Procedure, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan got her order staying the mandate of the court for another 30 days.
1. MOTION TO STAY MANDATE FOR 30 ADDITIONAL DAYS, filed on June 3, 2013, by counsel for the appellees.Sebastian has more on the opposing motions here.
2. OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STAY MANDATE FOR ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS, filed on June 4, 2013, by counsel for appellants Michael Moore, Charles Hooks, Peggy Fechter, Jon Maier, Second Amendment Foundation, Inc., and Illinois Carry.
3. PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS MARY SHEPARD AND ILLINOIS STATE RIFLE ASSOCIATION’S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STAY MANDATE FOR ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS, filed on June 4, 2013, by counsel for appellants Mary Shepard and the Illinois State Rifle Association.
IT IS ORDERED that the motion to stay mandate for additional 30 days is GRANTED. This court’s mandate is STAYED until July 9, 2013. No further extensions to stay the court’s mandate will be granted. form