Will County Prosecutor Glasgow files suit against Pritzker’s Safe-T Act
The Safe-T Act HB 3653 was pushed through the Illinois General Assembly during the middle of the night in January 2022 in order to ease the punishments against criminals and making law abiding citizens exposed to dangerous criminals. Will County Prosecutor. Pritzker signed the bill into law in February 2022 but major provisions that ease burdens on criminals don’t take effect until January 2023, after Pritzker’s re-election bid on Nov. 8, 2022.
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow today filed a lawsuit in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Will County setting forth Public Act 101-652’s numerous constitutional violations.
The 168-paragraph Complaint explains that:
- The legislation violates Article 4, Section 8 of the Illinois Constitution which requires that bills “shall be confined to one subject.”
- 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 legislation violates Article II, Section 1 of the Illinois Constitution, the separation of powers clause, which prohibits one branch of government from exercising “powers properly belonging to another.”
- The legislation violates Article IV, Section 8(d) of the Illinois Constitution which provides that “[a] bill shall be read by title on three different days in each house .…”
“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. “Sadly, I have received veiled threats over my opposition to this legislation, but I must put the safety of my constituents first. On this issue, I’ll grab a line from Tom Petty – ‘You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, and I won’t back down.’ The passage of this enormous piece of legislation – a bill that grew from 7 pages to 764 pages in a couple days, and was presented in the wee hours of the morning without an opportunity for lawmakers or stakeholders to read let alone comprehend the full text – violated fundamental constitutional provisions designed to ensure our system of governance functions transparently and serves the people it was established to protect.
“Our state officials knew the right way to amend our Constitution is to place a referendum before the voters; they did it with the graduated tax referendum, and they are doing it now with the worker rights referendum that will be on the ballot in November. They also know that a bill must receive three readings and be limited to a single subject to ensure transparency and full debate. Unfortunately for the people of Illinois, none of this occurred.
“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. 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.”
The Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunction is brought against Governor Jay Pritzker, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, House Speaker Emanuel Christopher Welch, and Senate President Don Harmon in their official capacities.
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