IL Freedom Caucus: Court Ruling Correct in Asserting SAFE-T Act is an Unconstitutional Overreach (Springfield, IL) — The Illinois Freedom Caucus today is issuing the following statement on the recent court ruling striking down the pre-trial release and cash bail provisions in the SAFE-T Act, which were set to become law on January 1st.
“We applaud 21st Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Thomas Cunnington’s ruling to strike down the cash bail provisions in the SAFE-T Act. He is absolutely correct in his assertion that this measure set to fully become law on January 1st is a violation of the separation of powers clause of the Constitution and represents a significant overreach from the legislative and executive branches of government.
The Illinois Constitution explicitly addresses bail in Article 1 Section 9. It is not the place of the Legislature to unilaterally act to change our Constitution. Simply passing a bill with a majority vote is not the way to make changes to our Constitution. We have a process to place amendments on the ballot to allow voters to decide any changes to our Constitution and the Legislature did not follow that process.
The SAFE-T Act violates the Separation of Powers clause of the Constitution by stripping away important tools courts have to keep communities safe. It also violates the Victim Rights Act and makes unconstitutional changes to the bail provisions in Article 1 Section 9 of our Constitution. This ruling affirms what the members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus have been saying since Day One about the SAFE-T ACT. The abolishment of cash bail, and egregious inmate release policy put forward in the SAFE-T ACT are not only dangerous, but outright unconstitutional. We are grateful to Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe who has led the fight in our courts against the SAFE-T Act. His tireless efforts have resulted in a significant victory for our Constitution and for the safety of our communities. There is no doubt this ruling will be appealed but the decision in the 21st Circuit Court is a significant step forward to stopping some of the most egregious aspects of the SAFE-T Act and keeping our communities safe.”
The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) and Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government.
IL Freedom Caucus: Court Ruling Correct in Asserting SAFE-T Act is an Unconstitutional Overreach