In a remarkable series of events, the controversial “no-cash bail” provisions of the SAFE-T Act, which were supposed to go into effect this morning, has been put on hold by the Illinois Supreme Court.
The Court granted an Emergency Motion for Supervisory Order filed jointly by Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser and DuPage County’s State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, which asked that the Court suspend implementation of the SAFE-T Act pending resolution of current litigation.
In their filing, Mosser and Berlin argued that, had the SAFE-T Act gone into effect on January 1, 2023, while litigation is pending, the administration of justice in Illinois would have been uneven, thus harming all the citizens of the State. Additionally, DuPage and Kane Counties, would have faced additional challenges as multiple municipalities are in multiple counties, some of which were bound by the pending litigation and others that were not.
The litigation is an aggregated suit brought by representatives of 62 counties in Illinois claiming that the Act is unconstitutional. (Kane, Cook, and DuPage counties did not participate in the suit.) Last week, the chief judge of the 21st Circuit Court in Kankakee, ruled that stripping judges of their authority to set bond requirements for suspects awaiting trial is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers between the judicial and legislative branches.
Cunnington based this assertion on the premise that courts have the “authority inherent power” to “administer and control their courtrooms and to set bail,” without interference from the legislative body. The SAFE-T Act, as passed and signed by Governor JB Pritzker, would usurp that inherent power.
On Monday, noting that the ruling would create uneven implementation of the law across the state’s 102 counties, Mosser and Berlin filed their Motion with the Illinois Supreme Court.
In a joint press release, Mosser and Berlin praised the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“We are very pleased with the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision. The equal administration of justice is paramount to the successful and fair administration of our criminal justice system. Today’s decision will ensure that those accused of a crime in Illinois will receive equal and fair treatment throughout the State.”