A ‘disastrous decision’ or the right one? Chicago-area lawmakers and candidates are divided

While Democratic congressional representatives from the Chicago area decried Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court landmark ruling giving presidents some immunity from criminal prosecution, some Republican candidates lauded the decision.

The ruling involved the Washington, D.C. criminal case against Donald Trump on charges he plotted to overturn his 2020 election loss. Not only did the court issue an opinion on presidential power, it essentially assured that Trump won’t be tried before the Nov. 5 presidential election by returning the case to a lower court.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, whose 5th District stretches diagonally between Chicago’s North Side and the Barrington area, blasted the ruling in a news release.

“It’s difficult to overstate what a disastrous decision this is for our Democracy,” said Quigley, of Chicago.

If presidents can immunize themselves from prosecution by claiming they acted under the banner of official responsibilities, we no longer have a president, Quigley said. “We have a King.”

With the ruling, fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove said the court “protected the rights of the powerful at the expense of the powerless.”

Casten, whose 6th District includes much of the West and Southwest suburbs in Cook and DuPage counties, accused the court of “brazenly” seizing power from the other branches of government. He also touted legislation he introduced last year that aims to limit the court’s authority.

“The times call for us to exercise all of our legitimate power to protect our democracy from these reactionary justices,” Casten said in a news release.

In a social media post, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville called the decision “a blow to the core tenet of our democracy that no one is above the law.”

The ruling “effectively removes many of the guardrails against a president who would seek to abuse their power,” said Foster, whose 11th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.

Across the political aisle, John Booras, the Homer Glen Republican challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez of Chicago for her 3rd District seat, agreed with the ruling and its differentiation between official and unofficial acts.

“I don't see this as an increase in power to the executive branch at all,” Booras said in an email. “This is really just upholding the spirit of the law, which is what is important here. The concept is that the president of the United States must be empowered to act in the best interest of the country without fear of reprisal.”

Oswego Republican James Marter, who’s challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood for her 14th District seat in the West and Southwest suburbs, celebrated the ruling, too. The decision clearly upholds the constitutional authority of the president in that role, Marter said in an email.

“These targeted fake election interference investigations and charges brought against President Trump are a stain upon our Nation and our republican form of government,” Marter said.

· Daily Herald wire services contributed to this report.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.