Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pension Reform for all but Judges: Craven Effort to Buy Judicial Favor?

A northern Illinois newspaper notes how the Democrats in Springfield excluded judges, apparently (according to paper) in an effort to head off any personal animosity judges might feel in response to pension cuts. You see, judges are state employees too. The civics drivel taught in government schools about judicial review, lifetime tenure, separation of powers . . . well, it hasn't caught up to America in 2011, especially the Illinoisan corner of the USA.

The Illinois Constitution says public employee pensions “shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.” Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has said changing pension benefits for current employees is unconstitutional but plans to allow a vote in his chamber if the bill passes in the House.

“Half the people think that’s it,” McCarthy said of the hope that the law will not be struck down if it doesn’t affect judges. “Many of the members are legal people, so I think they have a vested interest in not irritating the judges they have to appear in front of.

“I’m sure no judge would do that, but you know.... I wish they were in, to tell you the truth.”

Rep. Rich Brauer, R-Petersburg, criticized the exclusion of judges.

“That’s the only way they can get that thing passed,” Brauer said.

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