Illinois Supreme Court won't hear arguments on SAFE-T Act, ending cash bail until March

ByCraig Wall and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, January 6, 2023
Illinois Supreme Court will settle SAFE-T Act cash bail questions
The Illinois no cash bail law questions raised by a Kankakee County court ruling on the SAFE-T Act will be settled by the state's Supreme Court,

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Illinois Supreme Court won't hear oral arguments about the constitutionality of the SAFE-T Act's elimination of cash bail until March.

Please note: The above video is from a previous report

An order filed Thursday lays out the timeline, requiring the record on appeal to be filed on or before January 20, the appellant's brief to be filed on or before January 26, and the appellee's brief to be filed on or before February 17. The appellant's reply brief is due on or before February 27, and oral arguments will be scheduled for the court's term beginning in March.

READ MORE: IL Supreme Court halts Pre Trial Fairness Act, preventing no cash bail provision from taking effect

A Kankakee County judge ruled on Dec. 28 that the cash bail elimination provision of the SAFE-T Act was unconstitutional. The ruling prompted the Illinois Supreme court to put implementation of the new law on hold on New Year's Eve, to prevent confusion in different courthouses around the state.

"They want to maintain pretrial consistency procedures across the state and if they allowed it to go into, be enacted on January 1 you would have had a huge portion of the state not allowing cash bail anymore and another portion of the state allowing it, so it makes perfect sense," said former Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Bob Milan.

The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to handle the appeal on an expedited basis.

RELATED: Illinois bail reform change blocked after judge rules portion of SAFE-T Act unconstitutional

Legal experts disagree on the basis for the constitutional challenge. For now judges will continue to be able to order defendants held on bail.