Top News

Federal judge strikes down IL law banning med marijuana groups from donating to political campaigns

Scott Holland Mar. 29, 2017, 1:59am

Libertarian political candidates won a free speech victory in federal court as a Chicago judge declared unconstitutional an Illinois campaign law barring medical marijuana businesses from making campaign contributions. 

IL 'fair share fees' lawsuit tossed; plaintiffs say 'desired result,' allowing appeal to SCOTUS

Jonathan Bilyk Mar. 21, 2017, 6:37pm

The U.S. Supreme Court will get the chance to decide just how much public worker unions in Illinois and elsewhere can exact from non-union workers, after a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit intended to challenge a longstanding legal precedent used by unions to justify the forcible collection of so-called “fair share” fees.

Chicago's controversial 'Airbnb ordinance' to go into effect

Sara McCleary Mar. 17, 2017, 4:25pm

A judge has dissolved a stay on the effective date of Chicago’s controversial home sharing ordinance, allowing the city to begin enforcing the law.

Illinois can choose SEIU to represent all home caregivers in negotiations: Appeals court

Jonathan Bilyk Mar. 9, 2017, 5:28pm

The state of Illinois doesn’t trample on the rights of non-union home care providers by forcing them to abide by the terms of deals it strikes with a union over care provider pay rates and other terms of the care providers’ “employment,” a federal appeals court has ruled.

Seventh Circuit hears arguments over IL 'fair share' union fees; case may be headed to SCOTUS

Jonathan Bilyk Mar. 1, 2017, 5:44pm

A challenge to the power of state worker labor unions to extract so-called “fair share” fees from non-union workers could be ticketed for the U.S. Supreme Court, where opponents of the fees hope a conservative-majority court could overturn a longstanding legal precedent used by unions to justify their forcible collection of fees from public employees who refuse to pay formal union dues.

Church wins OK to continue to jury with claims Burbank discriminated by denying permit for sanctuary

Scott Holland Feb. 23, 2017, 5:26pm

A church will be allowed to press its claim that a southwest suburban Cook County government owes it some money for allegedly discriminating against the congregation and torpedoing the church’s deal in place to buy land for a new sanctuary. 

Company that sells advertising to Uber, Lyft passengers sues Chicago, says tilted city rules favor taxis

Jonathan Bilyk Feb. 2, 2017, 3:28pm

A Minneapolis-based tech firm which provides interactive video advertising to be displayed in Uber and Lyft vehicles has sued the city of Chicago, saying the city’s rules forbidding the ride-hailing services from displaying advertising on or in their vehicles, while allowing traditional taxis to do so, unconstitutionally favors the taxis at the expense of the other drivers.

Lincolnshire will appeal decision that tossed its right-to-work ordinance

Tabitha Fleming Jan. 17, 2017, 12:02am

The village of Lincolnshire will appeal the ruling of a trial court that tossed out the city’s right-to-work ordinance.

Attorney involved in Harris v Quinn: SEIU should repay fees 'illegally' collected from day care providers

Jireh Gibson Jan. 12, 2017, 4:45pm

Illinois-based home child care providers who paid "fair share" fees for almost nine years to a union they did not support will not get that money back following a lawsuit, after a federal judge who heard their case rejected the plaintiffs' argument the arrangement violated their constitutional rights and said the union can keep the money because it collected the money in "good faith."

Cities, counties can't enact right-to-work laws, judge says; Lincolnshire ordinance tossed

Jonathan Bilyk Jan. 9, 2017, 4:32pm

Cities, villages and counties don’t have the authority under federal law to impose local right-to-work rules on employers, workers and unions, a Chicago federal judge has said, tossing out a right-to-work ordinance enacted by the village of Lincolnshire in 2015.

Voters OK'd term limits for their towns, but barriers make applying limits statewide difficult

Taryn Phaneuf Nov. 22, 2016, 6:34pm

On Election Day, four Cook County communities took action on an issue that many voters in Illinois want to see addressed on a much larger scale: term limits.

Election Day voter registration cleared for IL this November; judges refuse to rush appeal

Jonathan Bilyk Oct. 7, 2016, 5:05pm

Election Day voter registration will be allowed this November at all polling places in Cook County and Illinois’ other more populated counties, after a federal appeals court refused to speed up proceedings in the case, pushing briefing in the matter back to Nov. 10, two days after Election Day.

7th Circuit appeals judges lift injunction blocking Illinois Election Day voter registration program

Jonathan Bilyk Oct. 4, 2016, 5:53pm

Saying the law imposes only a “minimal inconvenience" on voters living in low population counties who wish to register to vote on Election Day when compared to the benefits of expanding voting opportunities in counties with more people, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked a federal appeals court to overturn a federal judge’s block of a state law allowing Election Day voter registration at polling places in Cook County and other Illinois counties in which more than 100,000 people liv

Judge dismisses 'fair share' fee suit vs state worker unions; SCOTUS deadlock means precedent stands

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 30, 2016, 5:52pm

In the wake of a deadlock at the U.S. Supreme Court, letting stand a federal appeals court’s ruling that public unions can compel workers not represented by unions to pay so-called “fair share” fees in lieu of union dues, a Chicago federal judge has tossed a lawsuit brought by several Illinois state workers, similarly challenging the union’s payroll deductions.

Judge slaps down Illinois Election Day voter registration system, saying it dilutes rural citizens' rights

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 27, 2016, 12:41pm

A federal judge has prohibited Illinois’ most populated counties from continuing to register voters at polling places on Election Day, saying the way the system is currently set up in the state violates the rights of people voting in Illinois’ more rural regions.

Congressional candidate, Liberty Justice Center challenge IL Election Day voter registration program

Scott Holland Aug. 4, 2016, 3:50pm

A Western Illinois Republican Congressional candidate has partnered with a Chicago-based public-interest litigation group to challenge Illinois’ Election Day voter registration program, saying the state’s system is unfairly slanted to favor counties with the biggest populations and, by extension, to boost the likelihood of Democratic candidates succeeding at the polls. 

State can force IL child care, home care workers to be represented by union, federal judge says

Jonathan Bilyk May 13, 2016, 5:24pm

While the U.S. Supreme Court declared two years ago that the state cannot compel independent home care and child care workers from paying money to public employees unions out of the checks they receive for their work from the state, a Chicago federal judge said the Constitution does not similarly forbid the state from requiring those same workers to be represented by a union.

Lawsuit challenges constitutionality of state law designating SEIU as representative of Illinois home caregivers, child care providers

Hoang Tran Nov. 11, 2015, 12:11pm

Six Illinois child care providers and home caretakers displeased with being forced by state law to have the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) represent them have filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago asking the state to strike down the law and remove the SEIU as their union representative.

Lawsuit: City sidestepped law in enacting 'Cloud Tax' via administrative ruling on streaming media

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 11, 2015, 4:56pm

A group of Chicago residents who subscribe to a range of online streaming media services, including Netflix, Xbox Live, Amazon Prime and Spotify, have sued City Hall, asserting the decision by the city’s comptroller to tax the services under the city’s existing amusement tax is illegal. On Sept. 9, the Chicago-based legal non-profit Liberty Justice Center filed the complaint challenging the so-called “Cloud Tax” in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of six Chicago residents.