Illinois Redistricting: Quinn Signs Plan To Add Democratic Seats

Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed off Friday on a redistricting proposal that will sharply undercut the state's newly elected Republican congressmen.

The plan, put forward by the Democratically-controlled General Assembly in Springfield, could lead to as many as 13 Democratic seats in Illinois. The current delegation has eleven Republicans and eight Democrats.

Quinn issued a statement supporting the map when he signed the bill. “I have carefully reviewed the congressional redistricting map," he wrote, according to the Chicago Tribune. "This map is fair, maintains competitiveness within congressional districts, and protects the voting rights of minority communities."

Republicans, however, take issue with more than one of those claims. Republicans reportedly plan on filing a lawsuit arguing that the map unfairly discriminates against Latinos -- only one district out of 18, that of Rep. Luis Gutierrez, is majority-Latino, while the state's Latino population is above 30 percent.

Mark Kirk, the state's Republican U.S. Senator, told WLS that he thought the case had a good chance.

"I think that there will be a lawsuit that will likely be brought before a Republican judge who picks two other judges to sit on a panel, and they will review the legality of denying Latino voters their full representation in the Congress. And I expect that lawsuit will come to a decision in October or November,” he said, adding that he thought the odds were "pretty good."

A Republican Congressman, Tim Johnson, wasn't so optimistic. Earlier this week, he announced that he was renting a new apartment in order to prepare for a run in the 13th District, and told the Champaign News-Gazette that he thought the court challenge was an uphill battle.

"We're going to file a lawsuit but it's not going to succeed," Johnson said, "so you've just got to go forward with the way it is."