Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lisa's Dilemma

Poor little Lisa. She has to decide if she wants to be governor or to satisfy the Chicago Democrats who have been some her biggest supporters.

Lisa is, of course, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She is also the eldest daughter of Michael Madigan who is Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

The decision Lisa must make is whether or not to appeal the decision of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in the cases of Moore v. Madigan and Shepard v. Madigan to the United States Supreme Court. The court's decision mandates some sort of concealed carry law in Illinois in 180 days.

An interesting article in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch puts it this way:

Now Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who is widely viewed as a governor-in-waiting, faces a dilemma that is unique to Illinois: If she sides with gun-control advocates and appeals the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, she could deepen her party’s north-south regional rift while losing support from pro-gun downstate Democrats.

But if she lets the ruling stand, she could inadvertently end up as the face of concealed carry in Illinois, tarnishing her shining image with her core base of anti-gun Chicago Democrats.
While Chicago Democrats tend to be uniformly in the gun prohibitionist camp, it is important to remember in Illinois that downstate Democrats tend to be pro-gun rights. The concealed carry law that fell just a few votes short last year in the Illinois General Assembly had substantial support from Democrats outside of Chicagoland.

Downstate Democrats such as St. Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) are urging Madigan to leave things stand as it will hurt Democrats if she appeals. A number of Illinois political scientists agree with Haine.
“This has been the most divisive issue between Chicago and downstate,” said state Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, a gun-rights advocate. He argues that it’s both in Madigan’s political interest and the state’s interest to let the ruling stand, which would mean Illinois would have to create a concealed carry law within 180 days.

“An appeal certainly doesn’t serve (Madigan’s) interests personally. Many people downstate would not understand,” Haine said. “They would conclude that this is just more Chicago politics.”

Chris Mooney, political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield, agrees.

“If she makes a federal case out of it, so to speak, there may be alienation of the Democratic Party downstate. That’s probably her biggest problem with pursuing this,” Mooney said. “The party made some progress downstate (in the last election). They want to be seen as more inclusive and not as ruling everything from Chicago.”

With an appeal, Madigan could also face the risk of a high-profile defeat in the nation’s highest court.

“Number one, you’re going to lose,” says John Jackson, political scientist at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. “There’s almost no chance the Supreme Court of the United States, as it’s currently composed, is going to overturn (the ruling).

“The smartest thing (for Madigan) to do,” he said, “is to leave it alone. There’s some voters in Chicago who might not like it ... but I think they’re starting to realize they’ve lost the battle.”
Chicago Democrats such as House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and Gov. Pat Quinn are urging Madigan to appeal.

Madigan herself has stayed quiet on her plans saying she is just studying the decision.

Part of me hopes that Madigan does appeal. The other part of me wants to see shall-issue concealed carry in Illinois sooner than later. On Saturday I will be driving to St. Louis and will go through Illinois. My hope is that by next Christmas I won't have to disarm when I cross the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky and enter Illinois. I guess I have a dilemma, too.


  1. Governor in waiting, heh. Do you suppose she already has her cell picked out for when, not if, she's convicted of bribery/corruption/etc.?

    1. It makes you wonder just who was the last IL governor that didn't go to prison.

  2. Convict ALL of the them under 18 USC 241 - conspiracy to violate Constitutional rights of the US Citizen.

  3. We need for them to appeal the decision. Yes, it will delay things, but they will certainly lose. And when they lose it will strengthen our position in the long term. Look how far we have come. Not through playing the short game for immediate but weak victories but by playing the long game. The time will come when the pendulum will start to swing back against us. At that time we will need a legislative and legal mass of case law to resist the fashionable short term trends that will oppose us. You do not build up the required mass of case law without patience and perseverance. Lets hope they appeal. Its in our long term interests.

  4. I'm guessing and hoping that Lisa, Rahm and Pat's heads are about to explode over this and I can hardly wait.
    Rahm is not the mayor of Illinois and Quinn is not the governor of Chicago.

  5. I do hope that they appeal this. I believe that it is almost a certain loser, which will then apply the 2nd Amendment to activities outside the home, which will allow stronger attacks against may-issue concealed weapon permit laws.

    Since Illinois has not had a particularly good record of intelligently managing their gun-rights cases, I'm betting that Madigan will appeal.

  6. She may be waiting for the Ninth to rule on their three carry cases, though I'm not sure when that ruling is due.

    If the Ninth also supports a right outside the home, particularly one that goes along with Posner's apparent view that would invalidate CA and HI's "may-issue" policies, then she can choose to not appeal and be on the "winning side" (2 Circuits to 1?) Constitutionally -and- say she is acceding to the will of Illinois voters, who almost got a shall-issue bill passed regardless.

  7. A not insignificant risk for the good guys if Madigan appeals is that between now and whenever the case actually gets heard by the SCOTUS, one of "the five" will die and be replaced by Hillary Clinton or Eric Holder or whoever the $@#!! Obama comes up with. That is also a "long game" consideration.

    Madigan may wait until day 179 to gain some time in the overall process, then file and ask for the stay to be extended. It is my understanding that this (extending the stay) is automatic, but really, it is the only chance the anti-2A forces have, so they are very likely to play it.


  8. The legal folks I've discussed the issue with say that requesting certiorari and requesting that the stay on the existing (crappy) UUW law are two separate issues. I'm not a lawyer, but theoretically SCOTUS could say they'll hear the case and not issue a stay, which would put AG Mad-gun behind a real 8-ball, as anyone charged with a violation on day 181 onward could have a heck of a case, and we could wind up with "Constitutional Carry" - a situation forseen by the groups like the IL Police Chiefs and the FOP when they did a major 180 after Heller and McDonald and joined the IL Sheriff's Assocation (long time supporters of regulated CCW).

    Why? ConCarry fails to provide the state with several things - any sort of ability to deny people, any sort of background checks and any income, unless they wanted to offer a formal CCW card for folks traveling out of state (like AZ and AK do).

    There's also the chance that SCOTUS will see Moore v. Madigan and Shepard v. Madigan as another McDonald v. Chicago, and decide to jam it down Chicagofield's throats.

    It's a stretch, I'll admit, but hey, gotta have a dream. :D