SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Oral arguments begin today as the Illinois Supreme Court takes up a lawsuit challenging the “no cash bail” provision in the state’s controversial SAFE-T Act.
Following a ruling from a Kankakee County judge that said the Pretrial Fairness Act was unconstitutional, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a temporary stay, keeping the new law, which was supposed to go into effect on January 1st, on hold.
The state’s attorney argued that the SAFE-T Act violates the state’s constitution, claiming the bill was rushed through the legislature.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has appealed the Kankakee County ruling. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to an expedited schedule to hear the appeal, which began Tuesday morning.
The original Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today Act, which was introduced by the Illinois Black Caucus as part of Black legislators’ response to the murder of George Floyd, and was passed by the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives in the early hours of Jan. 13, 2021.
Many Illinois law enforcement agencies have warned the act will embolden criminals and make it harder for police to keep offenders off the streets.
State’s attorneys and law enforcement from across the state filed lawsuits which were consolidated into one in Kankakee County, so any ruling would have an immediate effect in all co-signed counties.
The 64 state’s attorneys represent counties including Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago.