Illinois's controversial redistricting map becomes law; GOP will sue

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has signed into law the state's controversial map of newly reapportioned congressional districts.

Republicans have criticized the map, which pits several GOP lawmakers against one another, announced they will sue.

Democrats control the redistricting process in the state, which is losing one House seat next year, and the map they drew is seen as benefiting their party.

They could pick up five or six seats if the map stands, which would help them recover from the four seats Republicans gained in President Obama's home state last cycle.

Quinn defended the map Friday.

“I have carefully reviewed the congressional redistricting map. This map is fair, maintains competitiveness within congressional districts, and protects the voting rights of minority communities," he said in a signing statement.

Republicans reiterated their argument the map is partisan.

"This bill is a crass, partisan political move to silence the voices of Illinoisans, who last November made it very clear that they wanted to fire Nancy Pelosi by electing a majority Republican Congressional Delegation from the home state of President Obama," Republican state party Chairman Pat Brady said in a statement.

“I hope that the courts will overturn these maps as an unfair representation of the citizens of Illinois.”

The Illinois Republican delegation put out a statement Friday blasting Quinn and announcing there will be a lawsuit.

The members say Quinn "rewarded his Democrat allies by approving this highly partisan map that tears apart communities and disrespects the will of Illinois voters as expressed in last fall’s election."

They added that: “this map will be challenged in court, and we do not expect to comment further on a matter that now will be the subject of litigation.  As we have said before, we do not believe this map will stand.”

Most of the lawmakers, many of whom have been put in primaries against one another, have avoided stating where they'll run next cycle. The statement indicates they will continue to stay silent on the 2012 race.

Ten out of 11 GOP members of the delegation signed the statement. Rep. Timothy Johnson's name was missing.

Johnson's office released a statement Friday, criticizing the proposed map but not mentioning why the lawmaker didn't sign on to the joint statement.

“While I believe the lawsuit has a reasonable chance of success, I also believe that the coming months provide an opportunity for me to get acquainted with the people, the communities and the issues that are part of the new 13th District that the Democrats have drawn me in to. I welcome the opportunity to represent the good people of west-central Illinois. I have been warmly received everywhere I’ve been and I hope to represent them with the same energy and integrity that I’ve demonstrated throughout my career," Johnson said.

-- This post was last updated at 5:07 p.m.