CHICAGO — A lawsuit over the planned Obama Presidential Center’s campus in Jackson Park has stalled after a federal appeals court panel ruled the plaintiffs did not suffer actual harm and that many of their grievances were not within the court’s jurisdiction.
The 7th Circuit for the U.S. Court of Appeals issued the ruling on Friday, more than two years after community group Protect Our Parks Inc. filed suit alleging the Chicago Park District and the city of Chicago improperly transferred public park land to the Obama Foundation for private use. The decision to remand the case means the lawsuit is effectively dead — although one of the plaintiffs said Tuesday the legal fight will continue.
“We are pleased the court ruled in our favor on the federal claims, and if plaintiffs persist in litigating the state claims that the district court found without merit, we will continue to defend our position,” Kathy Fieweger, the city’s law department director of public affairs, said in a Tuesday statement.
Among other things, Protect our Parks argued the $500 million, four-building complex’s proposed location on 19.3 acres of the historic Jackson Park violates the public trust doctrine governing use of public land for the greater good of citizens, according to the lawsuit.