The Illinois Supreme Court will not hear arguments in the ongoing legal battle over the fate of cash bail in the state until the spring, officials confirmed Thursday.
According to a court order issued Thursday, oral arguments in the case will be scheduled in March, but an exact date has not yet been set.
The hearings come after a Kankakee circuit court judge ruled that the elimination of cash bail in the state was unconstitutional, just days before implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act would have taken the practice off the books.
He said that the law as written would violate the Separation of Powers Clause and the Victims Rights Act, as well as constituting an unconstitutional amendment of Article 1, Section 9 of the state constitution, which says “all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties.”
Attorney General Kwame Raoul, one of the named plaintiffs in the case, vowed that the state would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, which they have since done.
Initially, the ruling only applied to counties that had been part of the suit, but the state’s Supreme Court later clarified the ruling, saying that no county would be permitted to eliminate cash bail to maintain consistency and fairness.
That ruling was made at the request of the DuPage and Kane County State’s Attorney’s offices.
“Had the SAFE-T Act gone into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, while litigation is pending, the administration of justice in Illinois would have been uneven, thus harming all citizens of the state,” officials said in a statement.
Various briefs in the case, filed by both the plaintiffs and defendants, will be due in the weeks leading up to those hearings, according to the court filing, which can be viewed here.
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January 5, 2023 at 05:47PM