Protect Our Parks files brief appealing lower court’s decision on OPC

Richard Epstein (Herald file photo)

HERALD STAFF REPORT

Protect Our Parks (POP) filed its brief with the federal appeals court in its suit against the city and Chicago Park District to block the establishment of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

The plaintiffs argue that the OPC, which will not be a traditional presidential library, serves no public function and that no city officials “exercised due care and independence in choosing a location and design of the OPC,” “ran any studies about the costs that the OPC would pose to the design, use and aesthetics of Jackson Park and surrounding areas” or “ever (examined) alternative sites to determine what was actually best for the city and its constituents.”

“This is not an ordinary negligence case,” said POP’s attorney, Richard Epstein, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School who said the OPC has an “imbalance of enormous proportions that was known by everybody at every time” and alleged that city officials had exercised a “disregard of the obligations of office.”

“The only thing we’re trying to do is to get a fresh trial based on the full range of evidence in this particular case,” Epstein said, adding that the OPC’s “costs are wholly apparent and the benefits are largely illusory.”

POP is asking the appeals court for a new trial, not a summary judgment. The City and Park District have around a month to respond to the brief. The judge will rule after the response is filed.

herald@hpherald.com