Lawsuit challenging the Obama Presidential Center location to move forward

A federal judge ruled that Protect Our Parks’ lawsuit against the use of Jackson Park for the center should not be tossed, as the city requested.

Obama library site

Photo by José Alejandro Córcoles

The Obama Presidential Center will be located in Jackson Park, across the street from Hyde Park High School, on the South Side of Chicago.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a case challenging the chosen location for the Obama Presidential Center can move forward.

While no ruling on the factual matters of the case was given, Judge John Robert Blakey granted in part and denied in part the City’s motion to dismiss.

The 21-page opinion “clears away portions of the case that do not belong,” Judge Blakey wrote, dismissing the argument by Protect Our Parks claiming aesthetic and environmental harm and infringement of their First Amendment rights.

In May, the environmental group Protect our Parks and three other plaintiffs sued the City and the Park District challenging the presidential center being built in Jackson Park.

Tuesday’s opinion dismissed Wilmette resident Charlotte Adelman’s First Amendment claim with prejudice and the other three plaintiffs without prejudice stating their arguments rested on future events that may or may not happen.

The opinion makes no comment on the other counts, but promises the counts will be addressed following discovery.

The court will rule on discovery disputes at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 27. The court will also set a small window of 45 days for discovery arguments, keeping with a repeated theme by Judge Blakey to keep the suit from needlessly delaying construction.

Read the full opinion here: