Burke, Warren Successful in Obama Presidential Center Lawsuit


Representing the Chicago Park District, Burke, Warren attorneys Joe Roddy, Susan Horner and Liz Pall, working together with Chicago Park District General Counsel Tim King successfully defended the establishment of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Jackson Park in Chicago. On June 11th, Judge John Robert Blakey of the US District Court of Northern Illinois granted the City of Chicago’s and Chicago Park District’s motion for summary judgment finding that the OPC does not violate the Public Trust Doctrine and that placing the OPC in Jackson Park is appropriate under the Amendment to the Museum Act enacted by the Illinois Legislature. As a result, the lawsuit brought by Protect Our Parks against the City and the Park District has been dismissed. The plaintiff has indicated it will appeal the ruling. Judge Blakey issued a 52-page opinion that lays out his reasoning for the ruling.

The OPC site will include additional open green space, a plaza, the museum, and three other buildings including a new branch of the Chicago Public Library. The OPC will be constructed and maintained with funds provided solely by the Obama Foundation.

The Firm’s Dick Burke has represented the Chicago Park District for many years. On a related matter, he previously argued successfully before the Illinois Supreme Court in connection with the renovation of Soldier Field that, like the future Obama Presidential Center, resides on land protected by the Public Trust Doctrine.

For more information, please contact Susan Horner (312-840-7082, shorner@burkelaw.com), Joe Roddy (312-840-7033, jroddy@burkelaw.com), or Liz Pall (312-840-7099, epall@burkelaw.com).

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