Democratic Will County State’s Lawyer James Glasgow filed a lawsuit Friday towards Gov. J.B. Pritzker and different high state Democrats alleging that they violated the state’s structure once they pushed by sweeping felony justice reforms final 12 months.
The lawsuit from Glasgow, an outspoken critic of the 764-page Security, Accountability, Equity and Fairness-At present regulation, or SAFE-T Act, comes lower than 4 months earlier than a number of provisions of the year-and-a-half-old regulation, together with a controversial measure to abolish money bail, go into impact on Jan. 1.
The swimsuit was filed in Will County courtroom as Pritzker, who signed the laws into regulation February 2021, faces a contentious reelection bid on Nov. 8 towards Republican challenger Darren Bailey, a state senator from downstate Xenia who’s in search of to repeal the SAFE-T Act.
The opposite defendants embrace Illinois Lawyer Common Kwame Raoul, Home Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate President Don Harmon. Kankakee County Democratic State’s Lawyer Jim Rowe filed a separate lawsuit Friday towards high Democrats, additionally alleging the passage of the regulation violates the state structure.
The SAFE-T Act was meant to create a extra truthful courtroom system and promote police accountability. Proponents say the elimination of money bail addresses a long-standing drawback that retains poor defendants, principally folks of shade, locked up whereas awaiting trial as a result of they don’t have the means to make bail.
Beginning Jan. 1, judges will weigh a number of components, together with the risk a defendant poses to the general public, in deciding what defendants should stay in custody.
However Glasgow and the regulation’s different opponents fear the no-cash bail provision will weaken police and embolden criminals. On Friday, Glasgow stated in a press release that his swimsuit “will not be about politics; it’s about public security.”
Glasgow has been accused of spreading misinformation in regards to the SAFE-T Act, notably by claiming that homicide suspects at present in custody will mechanically be launched when the no-cash bail coverage goes into impact.
“Sadly, I’ve acquired veiled threats over my opposition to this laws, however I need to put the protection of my constituents first,” Glasgow stated in his assertion Friday. “On this situation, I’ll seize a line from (the late rock star) Tom Petty — ‘You’ll be able to stand me up on the gates of Hell, and I received’t again down.’”
Glasgow’s 25-page lawsuit alleges Democrats violated a number of sections of the state structure, together with its separation of powers clause, in line with his workplace. The swimsuit additionally alleges that the SAFE-T Act violates different legal guidelines, together with one pertaining to the “proper to have the protection of the sufferer and the sufferer’s household thought-about in denying or fixing the quantity of bail.”
Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh on Friday known as the lawsuit a “weak try” to guard an outdated system that lets homicide suspects and others accused of violence pay their approach out of jail.
“The SAFE-T Act not solely prevents that from occurring, but in addition supplies regulation enforcement officers the instruments they should battle crime, like physique cameras, extra coaching and entry to psychological well being care,” she stated.
Spokespersons for Welch and Raoul stated the lawsuit was being reviewed.