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July 22, 2024

Judge: SAFE-T Act Unconstitutional in Part –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 29, 2022

Kankakee, IL. (ECWd) –

Kankakee Circuit Judge Thomas W. Cunnington issued a 36-page Memorandum of Decision late yesterday declaring portions of the SAFE-T Act as unconstitutional.

From within the Memorandum of Decision:

  • Act does not violate the single-subject rule
  • Plaintiffs have standing to bring the suit
  • Likely injuries of enforcing an unconstitutional law provides a constitutional standing for State’s Attorneys to bring the claims
  • Sheriffs have standing to bring the claims
  • Legislature unconstitutionally attempted to change the provisions of the constitutions (re: eliminating monetary bail as a surety)
  • Setting an amount of bail to ensure a defendant’s appearance in court had been stripped away in violation of the Constitution, Article XIV, Sec 2(d)
  • Public Acts 101-652 and 102-1104 are facially unconstitutional
  • the Act violates the Separation of Powers doctrine
  • the Act is not impermissibly vague, and those portions that may be vague do not impose criminal liability or risk
  • the Act is not unconstitutional due to vagueness
  • preliminary injunction is not appropriate at this juncture of the case


“Because, as the Illinois Supreme Court has determined, the administration of the justice system is an inherent power of the courts upon which the legislature may not infringe and the setting of bail falls within that administrative power, the appropriateness of bail rests with the authority of the court and may not be determined by legislative fiat. Therefore, the court finds that Public Acts 101- 652 and 102-1104 as they relate only to the pretrial release provisions do violate this separation of powers principle underlying our system of governance by depriving the courts of their inherent authority to administer and control their courtrooms and to set bail. Elrod, supra.

Inasmuch as Section 99-997 of P.A. 101-652 entitled “Severability” provides that “The provisions of this Act are severable under Section 1.31 of the Statutes on Statutes and Section 97 of P.A. Act 102-1104 entitled “Severability” provides that “The provisions of this Act are severable under Section 1.31 of the Statutes on Statutes, the court is severing the provisions of the pretrial release provisions from the entire Act, as amended. The court finds that declaratory judgment is proper in this case and that plaintiffs have met their burden to show to this court that P.A. 101-652 and P.A. 102-1104, as they relate only to the pretrial release provisions are facially unconstitutional and Declaratory Summary Judgment on the pleadings is entered in favor of plaintiffs and against defendants as to Count I, III, IV and V. As previously stated above, defendants have met their burden on Counts II, VI, VII, and VIII and summary judgment on the pleadings is entered in favor of Defendants on those counts. Plaintiffs are ordered to prepare an order consistent with this opinion. “



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  • Daniel L Sleezer
    Posted at 10:01h, 29 December Reply

    As a non-lawyer it sounds like it is a sound legal opinion, but we all know how this will play out. It will get appealed and eventually get to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Democrat bias, that is the Supreme Court, will overrule. It is ironic that their eventual ruling will be giving up judicial branch power to the legislative branch, but they won’t care being ‘political beings’ they are.

  • Nick Cohan
    Posted at 17:51h, 29 December Reply

    Well Chicago Rules we down state are the serfs–shut up and obey
    This no bail law is failing where its applied what makes them think it will work for Illinois– its the defination of INSAINITY keep doing what isnt working and expect a different result


  • Golden Country
    Posted at 19:24h, 30 December Reply

    It appears to me that the Judge thinks the new law is a change in the constitution instead of a change in the law.
    I am not sure about this but I am sure if the supreme court rules that this is a constitutional issue it will most certainly become law because of chicago voters.

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