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The Supreme Court of Illinois yesterday affirmed lower court holdings that eviction of the Chicago “occupy” movement from public parks did not violate Federal or State constitutional protections of peaceful assembly. The Court’s vote was 6-1, with Justice Garman writing for the majority and Justice Kilbride dissenting.
In doing so the Court visited the higher levels of State constitutional jurisprudence, inquiring, among other things, whether or not the provisions of the Illinois Constitution that protect peaceful assemblies are in “lockstep” with, or are broader than, similar, although differently worded, provisions of the Federal Constitution.
The Court also offered welcome insights into the difference that a comma can make. (See pp. 11-13 of the slip opinion, addressing whether or not the phrase, “for the common good”, limited assembly rights as the wording, and attendant punctuation, have appeared in the succession of Illinois constitutions through history.)