Court Order Halts Mid-Election Rule Change: The Liberty Justice Center Secures Preliminary Injunction in Collazo v. Illinois State Board of Elections

May 22, 2024

On May 22, the Liberty Justice Center secured a court order halting enforcement of P.A. 103-0586—a bill that attempted to change the rules in the middle of an election cycle.

The Liberty Justice Center filed an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction on Monday, May 13, as part of its lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Elections. The lawsuit argues that, by changing the rules for ballot access mid-election, the Board of Elections violated the right to access the ballot of four potential candidates for office in the General Assembly in the 2024 election.

Before the hasty passage of P.A. 103-0586, if no one ran in a political party’s primary election, the party itself could nominate (or “slate”) a candidate, provided the candidate gathered the required number of petition signatures. On May 3, however—less than 48 hours after P.A. 103-0586 was introduced—Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law, repealing the “slating” provision, effective immediately, in the middle of an active election.

After today’s court ruling, however, Illinois’ ability to enforce P.A. 103-0586 against these potential candidates is on hold.

Following oral arguments on May 22 by Senior Counsel Jeffrey Schwab, the Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, Illinois issued a ruling in favor of the Liberty Justice Center’s clients, Leslie Collazo, Daniel Behr, James Kirchner, and Carl Kunz, granting the requested preliminary injunction. The injunction will halt enforcement of P.A. 103-0586 while litigation continues, allowing the four candidates affected by the repeal to proceed with the signature-gathering process and submit their candidacy petitions to the Board of Elections.

“We applaud the Court’s decision to uphold the rule of law and support voting rights for all people in Illinois,” said Jeffrey Schwab, Senior Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center. “We look forward to continuing to defend these fundamental rights in court and will be pressing forward to ensure the preliminary injunction becomes permanent.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 3.

Collazo v. Illinois State Board of Elections was filed in the Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, Illinois, on May 10, 2024.

The Liberty Justice Center’s legal filings in Collazo v. Illinois State Board of Elections are available here.


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