After the Kankakee County judge ruled parts of the SAFE-T Act as unconstitutional in a lawsuit filed by multiple counties, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled December 31st to halt the implementation of the no-cash bail system that was supposed to go into effect on January 1.
The ruling is in response to a lower court ruling that would have stopped the participating counties from enforcing the no cash bail law. The Supreme Court’s ruling was issued to make sure different systems weren’t being used in different counties while the court case moves forward. In its order, the Illinois Supreme Court said the ruling was to “maintain consistent pretrial procedures throughout Illinois.”
While this ruling does place a momentary stop on the no-cash bail system, it does not stop all of the SAFE-T Act. Other changes still in force include: requiring body cameras on law enforcement by 2025, more police training in accountability and transparency, and new guidelines for the decertification of police officers. Some cite the increased financial burden these requirements place on municipalities, however.
As of now, a firm date has not been set yet for the Illinois Supreme Court to hear the lawsuit. However, the Court has released a loose schedule for the case to follow. Opening briefs will run from late January to the end of February and oral arguments will be held sometime in March. Then it is up to the Justices to make their decisions and draft their opinions. Currently the Court is made up of five Democrats and two Republicans, with terms lasting ten years.