SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has responded to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the SAFE-T Act’s no-cash bail law.
On Monday, Raoul’s office filed a brief claiming the lawsuit, brought by dozens of state’s attorneys from across the state, should be rejected on the basis of a “grab-bag of [incorrect] constitutional theories,” The Center Square reported.
The brief states that the “plaintiffs’ response brief identifies no persuasive reason to affirm the circuit court’s sweeping decision striking down the pretrial release provisions,” and “Those unprecedented holdings are incorrect, and would effectively bar the General Assembly from ever reforming pretrial procedures in the State.”
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 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.
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.
The case is set to be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court on March 14th.