SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Supreme Court has set a date to hear a lawsuit claiming the state’s no-cash bail law is unconstitutional.
The date is set for March 14th.
Following a ruling from a Kankakee County judge Wednesday 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 Kankakee County circuit court’s ruling initially affected 64 counties where representative state’s attorneys filed lawsuits to prevent the law from going into effect. The higher court’s ruling keeps the SAFE-T Act from going into effect statewide.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has appealed the Kankakee County ruling.
Gov. JB Pritkzer issued a statement following Raoul’s appeal, saying, “The General Assembly and advocates worked to replace an antiquated criminal justice system with a system rooted in equity and fairness. We cannot and should not defend a system that fails to keep people safe by allowing those who are a threat to their community the ability to simply buy their way out of jail.”
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.