Breaking: Amendment One May Be Voided According To A Court Challenge In Lake County
A lawsuit was filed this year tro recall the Amendment
Val Ojeda, Writer
What is Amendment 1, its an Illinois constitutional amendment that voters passed in November.
Amendment 1 would lead to the most extreme government union leader power in the nation, as 28 state constitutions don’t even mention labor issues,” Mailee Smith, director of labor policy for the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute, said. “There would be no limit on what government unions could demand and no limit on what state and local governments could give away. Because of this, new costs are bound to appear for taxpayers, piling onto the fiscal challenges the state faces.”
Allow collective bargaining negotiations over limitless subjects. Government unions would have the right to bargain over any subject in union contract negotiations – from salary, benefits, and work conditions to economic welfare matters – and the scope could never be limited by lawmakers.
Make organizing and bargaining a “fundamental right” for any government employee. It would apply the right to collectively bargain to any employee, without definition, which could lead to a broad range of government employees, such as high-ranking government workers or lawmakers unionizing.
It prohibits lawmakers from interfering with, negating or diminishing union power. Amendment 1 would prevent any future legislation reining in collective bargaining, its terms, or subjects, or even restricting government strikes.
Ban right-to-work laws. Illinois already prohibits right-to-work laws, and this amendment would be the first to add the ban to the constitution. In comparison, nine other state constitutions include right-to-work language, granting workers the ability to determine for themselves whether to join and pay a union.
Taken together, these provisions would give union leaders more power than state lawmakers. The ability of union leaders to override state laws by negotiating contrary provisions into union contracts would be permanently enshrined in the Illinois Constitution.
In November 2022 the Illinois voter was unaware of this because the language of this bill was never spelled out. Thus, it sealed the fate of millions of taxpayers effectively raising their taxes by $2,000 each individual. A vote they will soon regret. Until now.
Yesterday there was a court action in Lake County. Attorney David Shestokas represented plaintiffs to void Amendment One. It looks like it may happen. In this lawsuit, they are challenging the constitutionality of the Amendment.
Let's give you some background.
At the November 8, 2022, election, voters of the State of Illinois thought they were voting on an Amendment to the Illinois Constitution, commonly referred to on signs and in the media as Amendment 1. Proponents of the Amendment also marketed it with the voter friendly phrase: Worker’s Rights Amendment.
The Illinois General Assembly, apparently thinking the voters of Illinois were not smart enough to understand what an amendment meant if they had the actual words that would be part of the Illinois Constitution, passed a resolution about what voters would see on the ballot. Not surprisingly, Illinois politicians decided not to put the actual words of the Amendment on the ballot.
By December 5, 2022, the Illinois State Board of Elections proclaimed the citizens of Illinois had amended their Constitution. Citizens, among them George Wechbacker, had given the Board notice that it should not certify the ratification of the Amendment because the actual words of Amendment 1 were not on the ballot.
In typical Illinois fashion, the Board of Elections simply didn’t care and certified the ratification.
It seems there’s very little common-sense surrounding the law these days, but common sense should be if the voters didn’t have the language of the Amendment on the ballot when they cast their vote, how could they ratify a change in the Constitution? Common sense would say they couldn’t, but both the Board of Elections and the Attorney General of Illinois say the voters approved something that wasn’t on the ballot.
So, George Wechbacker began having conversations with his friend, Attorney Dave Shestokas. Dave provided some direction and George went to work on developing a Verified Petition of Election Contest.
Thanks to Annie Parchert and the Illinois Freedom Alliance, they filed FOIA requests about ballot styles and issues and got responses from 99 of 108 Illinois election jurisdictions. No ballot in the state had the actual amendment, and the ballots around the state varied in many ways, though there is an Illinois law governing in great detail how a Constitutional Amendment ballot should be presented to the voters. It is to be uniform across the state.
Ultimately, the Verified Petition of Election Contest was developed. George sent it to Dave for review and advice on procedures and technical presentation. The law also required the Petition to have five voters involved, and George recruited …. Who signed on as petitioners, Dave provided direction on details like how to “verify” a court pleading.
On January 4, 2023, George filed the petition to contest the ratification of the amendment.
It really shouldn’t matter whether you are for or against the Amendment. What should matter is that voters had the Amendment on the ballot. By the way, it takes 60% of both the House and Senate to put an amendment before the taxpayers. So 60% of the Illinois General Assembly voted to try to trick Illinois voters by keeping the actual words from being in front of the voters at the moment they were voting.
The Illinois Attorney General is trying to defend this scam, and is opposing George and his colleagues in their effort to have the ratification declared void by a court in Lake County, IL.
The Attorney General has asked that the petition be dismissed. On May 31, 2023, in Courtroom C-303, there was a legal argument in the case. In court, Dave Shestokas joined George Wechbacker to argue that the People of the State of Illinois deserve to have what they are voting on ACTUALLY ON THE BALLOT.
George recounted all the laws broken in the balloting process. Dave presented to the court the mistakes in the Attorney General’s argument and the law, giving the judge the power to declare the election void.
These guys and the other petitioners are working to protect Illinois citizens from their politicians. Everyone, including Dave, is doing this pro bono publicly, for the good of the public. FOR FREE. They are doing this because it is right, and it is important to challenge the politicians when they are breaking the law while pretending to be making the law.
Next week, the Lake County Judge Joseph Salvi will make his ruling in this matter. Salvi is related to former candidate for Senate Kathy Salvi. If he rules for the plaintiffs, this would overturn the Amendment declaring it void. This would be a victory for all citizens.
I interviewed Attorney Shestokas and asked him what the results may be.
"I'm optimistic that Judge Salvi will rule for the plantiffs. The case presented is simple. The General Assembly did not present this Amendment properly with the language needed so it could be passed"
Shestokas feels that there is overwhelming evidence to support this case.
I also interviewed the plaintiff in this case, Annette Parchart. I asked Parchert if she was confident about winning the lawsuit. She replied, "Today we left Lake County Court inspired and hopeful that Judge Salvi will reverse this Amendment"
Also, " Judge Salvi challenged the Assistant Attorney General why the State excluded the text from the Amendment, confusing the voters"
She ended with " It will be a long 7 days, but there will be other Rabbit holes to explore if this is unsuccessful"
I also reached out to House Minority Leader Tony McCombie and Senate Minority Leader John Curran for a statement. Both leaders have yet to respond.
As you remember, both minority leaders who were just elected, supported voted for this Amendment and attempted to gain other Republican votes to support it with their networks.
Many Grassroots Republicans that fought against the Amendment became upset upon hearing of their vocal support of Amendment One then eventually their vote for it.
Later it was discovered that both minority leaders were paid off by the Chicago Teachers Unions to do so. They sold out the Republican Party and the taxpayers to line their pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars in Democratic donations. Bought like a cheap suit.
If we knew they would fold like a cheap chair and support the Democrat voting trend, we should of just kept Durkin and McConchie because now they are getting involved once again in primaries after the Illinois GOP stated publicly they would not do so.
So once again a grassroots candidate has to spend more money to defeat a RINO machine picked moderate establishment candidate in the GOP candidate. Once again this party is not proving itself to get better, but to breakdown it's foundation and create a divide in the party like the Irvin fiasco.
They never learn do they. And who suffers.… the grassroots.
The next court date to challenge the Amendment is June 7, 2023 in Lake County.