Justices Get Campaign Money, Decide Pension Issue
by the Associated Press
A published report says groups with ties to the pension-reform law adopted last month have contributed close to $3 million to Illinois Supreme Court justices who might decide its fate.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that six of seven justices have taken money in the past 13 years from labor unions, business groups and a political committee controlled by Chicago Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Retired teachers have sued to stop the pension-reform plan that cuts retiree benefits to reduce a $100 billion debt.
Most of the pension-related money went to former Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride. He accepted $2.5 million from both Madigan and business groups in a 2010 retention battle.
Current Chief Justice Rita Garman says court decisions are based on constitutional standards, not politics.