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CHICAGO — A U.S. appeals court in Chicago on Friday called for an end to federal court oversight of state hiring, freeing Gov. J.B. Pritzker and future governors from scrutiny that has endured through eight administrations over a half-century.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling ordering the U.S. District Court in Chicago to vacate the Shakman consent decree as it applies to the governor’s office, an agreement that had its roots in the patronage hiring practices that have long plagued city, county and state government.

“In no way are we saying that the risk of unlawful political patronage no longer exists within Illinois,” a two-judge panel wrote in its ruling. “Of course it does: nobody is naive to the state’s embarrassing history.”

But the court found that reforms instituted under Pritzker and his predecessor, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, have satisfied the requirements of the consent decree and that continuing to enforce it “is no longer warranted or tolerable.”

Friday’s ruling overturns a lower court decision denying Pritzker’s motion to vacate the consent decree.

—Chicago Tribune


DC mayor’s aide request for influx of migrants sent by Texas is denied

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense denied D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser’s request for the National Guard to assist in the influx of migrants sent by charter buses from Texas, a day after Gov. Greg Abbott criticized the mayor at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Abbott opened CPAC in Dallas on Thursday and focused his remarks heavily on problems at the U.S.-Mexico border. He said the state has bused over 6,500 migrants from the border to Washington.

“They cannot handle that one single challenge. We deal with that number every single day,” Abbott said about Washington leaders. “I have one thing to say to you and to them: There are more buses on the way as we gather at this convention.”


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