Noun – an injunction, simply, is an order or a writ issued by the court that demands an individual or persons to act – or restrains an individual or persons from acting.
For an historical example, recall the attempted desegregation in 1957 of the Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. Segregationist groups were able to convince a local chancellor/judge to issue an injunction against the admission of non-white students to the school in the coming fall based on their “concerns” for potential violence.
Another injunction, delivered by Federal Judge Davies, nullified the earlier writ with a command that forced the school to move forward with the planned integration and removed the National Guard brought in ostensibly to uphold law and order.
Injunctions a born of other issues and conflicts, and are not a matter of legal rights. In fact, a request for an injunction can as easily be denied as approved. The facts in each case determine whether an injunction will be issued, and the potential details for consideration no pun intended in the case of a not-so-distant pension bill cutting benefits will provide many.
There will of course be the central argument provided by Helen Kinney and Henry Green thank you in the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention: Article XIII, Section 5.
Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.
While the General Assembly has acted with impunity in the cutting of benefits to the future public workers in Illinois, they have yet to pass a bill curtailing the benefits of active workers and current retirees. Indeed, much of the concern raised by those who practice law in the General Assembly has been, as Representative Lou Lang tried to remind the Chicago Tribune, “whether or not it is constitutional.” Whether it’s legal. The Tribune is not concerned with legality – or morality.
Bills that may emerge from the “new” summer pension working-group may be an amalgam of Madigan’s benefit-cutting bill SB1 or Cullerton’s union-backed bill SB2404. In any case, any changes in the wording to SB2404 will provide an immediate refusal to endorse by the unions, and subsequent passage will likely produce a preliminary injunction. Remember, however, even union-backed SB2404 will face a legal reaction by the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, and such a response might start as described below. More…