Two Illinois state’s attorney’s filed a lawsuit Friday against Gov. JB Pritzker and other officials alleging that the SAFE-T, including the end of cash bail, violates Illinois’ constitution.
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow filed a lawsuit in Will County Circuit Court and Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe filed a second lawsuit in Kankakee County Circuit Court.
The Will County suit lists Pritzker, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Speaker of the House Emanuel Chris Welch and Senate President Donald Harmon as defendants.
The lawsuit alleges the SAFE-T Act, also known as HB3653, violates Article 4, Section 8 of the Illinois Constitution which requires that bills “shall be confined to one subject.”
The suit also says that the legislation violates Article 1, Section 9 of the Illinois Constitution which provides that “[a]ll persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties” and Article 1, Section 8.1 which provides “[t]he right to have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in denying or fixing the amount of bail.”
The lawsuit also cited several other alleged violations of the state constitution.
“It is my sworn duty as Will County’s State’s Attorney to protect the people of Will County and the State of Illinois. To put it in plain and simple terms, this is not about politics; it is about public safety,” Glasgow said in a statement.
“Sadly, I have received veiled threats over my opposition to this legislation, but I must put the safety of my constituents first,” Glasgow said.
He said that state officials should have placed a referendum before voters as they did with the graduated tax referendum.
“I fully support reforming our bail system and enacting criminal justice legislation that passes constitutional muster. New Jersey’s criminal justice reform legislation and how it came about offers an example of the right way to do it, through a constitutional referendum and legislation that has been thoroughly vetted and appropriately tailored,” Glasgow said.
“They passed a referendum in 2014 and then worked in a bipartisan fashion on the enabling legislation. Over the last five years, New Jersey has reduced its jail population by 44 percent with virtually no increase in crime. The New Jersey law respects the role played by law enforcement, the prosecutors, and the judiciary in protecting their communities from violent offenders. I stand ready to work with lawmakers to accomplish this in the State of Illinois,” he added.