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The Supreme Court ruled today that Texas is entitled to a Voting Rights Act exemption, parents who remove their disabled children from public school can be reimbursed for a private education, and the Army Corps of Engineers can issue permits for dumping dredge into waterways. From On the Docket.
The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, which advocates for and distributes the state apporpriation for civil legal aid, faces a 50 percent cut in its appropriation if the budget bill passed by the General Assembly on May 31 becomes law. The appropriation would drop from $3.5 million to $1.75 million. In 2008, the $3.5 million appropriation helped over 68,000 low-income families address their legal needs. The General Assembly is going into a special session on Tuesday, June 23. The IEJF asks that voters call their state senators and state representatives and tell them that legal aid is important. Click here for more information.
By a 4-2 vote in Maddux v. Blagojevich. Justice Freeman delivered the judgment with Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justices Kilbride and Burke concurring. Justices Karmeier and Garman dissented. Justice Thomas was not part of the decision. From the case summary:
William Maddux is the presiding judge of the law division of the Cook County circuit court. He will be 75 years old before his current term expires in 2010. He would like to serve beyond that time, but wants to do so by running for retention, rather than in a contested election. The Illinois Constitution of 1970 states criteria for eligibility for judgeships which do not include age, but also states that the “General Assembly may provide by law for the retirement of Judges *** at a prescribed age.” The Compulsory Retirement of Judges Act states that “a judge is automatically retired at the expiration of the term in which the judge attains the age of 75.” In 1992, the Act was construed by the appellate court as precluding a judge from running for retention after age 75, but as allowing a candidate for judgeship to run in a contested election at any age, thus reaching a compromise between the constitutional absence of age as an eligibility requirement and the legislature’s constitutionally granted power to set a retirement age. This judicial interpretation, now 17 years old, has not been altered by the legislature. This declaratory judgment action seeking summary judgment was brought as an attempt to secure for Judge Maddux the right to run for retention. It was claimed that the statutory scheme now in place is constitutionally invalid. The circuit court dismissed the action.

Stay in touch with Language Tips columnist

Gertrude Block, who wrote the Language Tips column in the ISBA Bar News, invites readers to continue to send her questions via email to block@law.ufl.edu

Correction

In the June issue of the ISBA Bar News, a typographical error occurred in the telephone number for the new professional consulting firm of RobinsonNiro in Chicago. The correct number is (312) 752-5393.
Does your firm have a presence on Facebook? Or maybe a key client's firm or business? If so, check out this article in the National Law Journal to learn about some important -- and imminent -- deadlines. Here's a quote: "Starting Saturday, at 12:01 a.m. EST, Facebook will allow an estimated 200 million users to select any 'usernames,' which can include a trademark, brand name or personal name. And if the owner hasn't registered the trademark first with Facebook, it's up for grabs."
The anticipated federal overhaul of the nation's health care system has law firms looking to add attorneys with health care expertise. Law.com has the story.