Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Joins Civil Rights Suit
Updated: Feb 27, 2020
FORMER ILLINOIS GOVERNOR PAT QUINN JOINS CIVIL RIGHTS SUIT
Motion to intervene on behalf of initiative petition passers granted
CHICAGO, IL – Thursday, October 10, 2019 – At the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Honorable John Robert Blakey granted a motion to intervene filed by former governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, who has chosen to come alongside Mauck & Baker, LLC in arguing that the City of Chicago’s current Millennium Park provisions are unconstitutional. In addition to suppressing religious speech, the City has disallowed other speech in Millennium Park by prohibiting initiative petition passers from walking around the Park to obtain signatures.
“We intervened because the current Millennium Park rules severely restrict First Amendment speech, including the ability of my clients to circulate initiative petitions for signatures to put referendums on the Chicago ballot,” Quinn said. “We look forward to working with Mauck & Baker in their representation of the First Amendment rights of the Wheaton College student evangelists.”
Quinn’s clients, the initiative petition passers, include Elizabeth Norden, Tyler Brumfield, Doris Davenport, and William Morgan.
Andrew S. Mine, Counsel for the City, in court referred to Millennium Park as a “so-called park,” arguing that Millennium Park is not truly a traditional public forum because it was originally created with the intention to serve as an outdoor art gallery. However, the past U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arkansas Educational Television Commission v. Forbes states that “traditional public fora are open for expressive activity regardless of the government’s intent.”
As of now, “expressive activity” in Millennium Park is only being allowed in one of the eleven imaginary “rooms” created by the new Park rules and on the sidewalks surrounding most of the substantial areas within.
A status and motion hearing has been set for November 7 at 10:15 am.