CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement in response to an Illinois Supreme Court stay of the SAFE-T Act’s Jan. 1, 2023, effective date.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul“As we have stated previously, my office filed an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court because in this matter, only the Supreme Court’s final decision on the merits will be binding on all Illinois courts.

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"It is important to note that the order issued today by the court is not a decision on the merits of the constitutionality of the SAFE-T Act, and I appreciate the court’s interest in expediting the appeal. We look forward to mounting a robust defense of the constitutionality of the law and ensuring that it goes into effect across the state.”

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The following is a statement from the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice:

"Today, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an order directing counties across our state to delay implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act until the court has had a chance to review the Kankakee County decision finding the law unconstitutional. While we are disappointed that the Pretrial Fairness Act will not be taking effect as scheduled on January 1, 2023, we are thankful that the Supreme Court has stepped in to provide guidance to courts and communities across the state. We remain confident that the Court will swiftly correct the poorly reasoned decision made by Judge Cunnington.

"The frivolous lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Pretrial Fairness Act is just the latest of many attempts by conservatives to prevent progress and preserve wealth-based jailing in Illinois. They know their actions were taken on weak legal grounds, at the last minute despite the law passing 23 months ago, and were simply intended to delay the inevitable implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act. With every passing day that money bond remains in place, Illinois will continue to punish people for being poor. It is essential that the Supreme Court moves quickly to ensure the law’s full implementation and prevent any more Illinoisans from being forced to pay a ransom to free their loved ones from jail while they await trial.

"It is a common refrain that the darkest hour comes before dawn. If you look closely towards the horizon, you’ll see a new day is quickly approaching in Illinois. While those looking to preserve the racist system of wealth-based jailing may delay progress, they will not prevent it."

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