SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for another monthlong extension of time to decide whether to appeal a lower court order allowing citizens to carry concealed guns.
Documents filed late Friday but made public Monday indicate that the bid for a "second and final 30-day extension" would allow Madigan's busy staff to continue researching the issues that could be part of a possible appeal to the Supreme Court of a lower court's decree.
An extension would also give the attorney general breathing room to see what action Gov. Pat Quinn takes on concealed carry legislation awaiting him.
The deadline for gubernatorial action is July 9, and Madigan must decide on an appeal by June 24. That date would be pushed back a month if the court agrees to the entreaty filed with Justice Elena Kagan.
"Let's allow this process to work itself out, await gubernatorial action, whatever that may be, and determine the appropriate next steps from there," Madigan spokeswoman Natalie Bauer said Monday. "This request allows those actions to play out."
If Quinn signs the bill lawmakers were forced to craft after a federal appellate court ruling, a Supreme Court appeal would be moot.
Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson again declined Monday to indicate which way Quinn is leaning on the concealed carry issue. But he's a strong gun-control advocate who initially proposed allowing larger municipalities to determine for themselves what gun laws to make – an option that did not make it into the final proposal.
He also continues to support an appeal by Madigan, a Chicago Democrat like Quinn.
After years of futile efforts by gun-rights supporters, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decreed in December that Illinois' ban on the carrying concealed weapons is unconstitutional. The court ruled it violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Illinois is the only state that prohibits concealed carry.
When it sought the first delay until June 24, Madigan's office argued it needed more time to react to the Illinois ruling and to determine whether it might conflict with other recent opinions, including a federal appeals court's ruling upholding New York's much more restrictive gun-carry law. In early April, the Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal in that case that sought to loosen New York's gun restrictions.
The 7th Circuit had given Prairie State lawmakers until June 9 to implement a law, but after the Legislature finally adopted a plan that it didn't send to Quinn until June 4, Madigan sought and received from the appellate court justices an extension for gubernatorial action until July 9.
The bill is HB183
Contact AP Political Writer John O'Connor at https://twitter.com/apoconnor