Did Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul – far from the top legal mind in his graduating law class – screw the pooch by failing to file a response to Dan Caulkins’ writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court? Folks, it surely looks like he might have in light of what happened yesterday afternoon.
First, a quick review… Dan Caulkins took an appeal of his loss in front of the tainted Illinois State Supreme Court to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in filing for certiorari. Caulkins did so on November 9th and the state’s response was due on December 14th. Kwame Raoul, instead of responding, sent in a waiver on December 1st telling SCOTUS “we’re not going to bother even offering a reply.”
SUPPLEMENTAL STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Newly discovered material (by Caulkins) discloses Seven Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars additional (to the $2.6 Million direct financial contributions in the original Petition) indirect campaign expenditures supporting the candidacies of Justices Rochford and O’Brien by a political committee backed by Defendant, Illinois Senate President Don Harmon.
The sole officer of the political committee, All for Justice, is Luke Casson, counsel of record for Defendant Harmon in the proceedings below in this case. The expenditures for the benefit of Justices Rochford and O’Brien were concealed from the public until several months after the election. Supp. App. 6, 19-51.3 On November 21, 2023, All for Justice was fined $99,500.004 for violating campaign disclosure laws with the delayed public disclosure of the expenditures supporting Justices Rochford and O’Brien. Supp.
Funds controlled by Defendant Harmon contributed $700,000 to All for Justice. Neither Justice Rochford, nor Justice O’Brien, disclosed or otherwise acknowledged the All for Justice expenditures supporting their campaigns originating with one of the Defendants, including his counsel of record in this case, when issuing their Orders denying the Motion for Recusal/Disqualification.
Did Caulkins catch lightning in a bottle?
On Wednesday, Justice Amy Coney Barrett submitted Caulkin’s cert application to the entire court for discussion at their January 5th conference. This is highly unusual and frankly, it’s a good sign.
Does this mean that SCOTUS might take some action in the form of injunctive relief at that time? That’s extremely unlikely. Best case scenario, I believe, is the granting of certiorari and fast-tracking the case for hearings during this term. That would pose a huge blow to Prizker and Raoul and at the same time it would stand as an incredible way for Dan Caulkins to finish out his remaining final term in the Illinois General Assembly.