June 12, 2019
A federal judge has dismissed a case brought by an advocacy group against plans to build the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in the South Side’s Jackson Park. U.S. District Judge John Blakey said that there “should be no delay” in beginning construction on the center, which has been held up by the lawsuit and a federal review.
However, attorney Mark Roth, who represented the group Protect Our Parks, said he would file an appeal. Before Blakey dismissed the case, Roth reiterated the argument that the Obama Foundation’s plan to carve out 19.3 acres of Jackson for the OPC represented “a massive giveaway” to the foundation with no benefit to the public.
However, city lawyers have argued that a “massive bundle of unique public benefits” would accrue from building the OPC. “The museum itself is the public benefit,” Michael Scodro, a lawyer representing the city, told Blakey.
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