End of cash bail delayed as Illinois Supreme Court issues stay on SAFE-T Act

Lady Justice
The Illinois Supreme Court issued a stay on the SAFE-T Act, which was set to take effect on Jan. 1. That means the end of cash bail in Illinois has been delayed. Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The SAFE-T Act was set to take effect Sunday, Jan. 1, but in a late ruling on Saturday, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a statewide stay on the legislation.

That means Illinois’ cash bail system will remain in place, for now.

The Supreme Court said its decision to keep the SAFE-T Act from taking effect was done in the interest of maintaining consistency across the state.

Last week, a Kankakee County judge sided with authorities representing more than 60 of the state's 102 counties, who sued to stop the legislation and said it violates the Illinois Constitution.

Prior to the high court’s decision on Saturday, the counties that sued the state planned to use the old cash bail system. Those that didn't, including Cook County, planned to embrace the SAFE-T Act and the end of cash bail.

Although Attorney General Kwame Raoul supported the Pre-Trial Fairness Act — the specific provision within the Safe-T Act that outlined the end of cash bail in Illinois — he said, in part, that he was thankful the Supreme Court stepped in to provide its guidance.

“We look forward to mounting a robust defense of the constitutionality of the law and ensuring that it goes into effect across the state,” Raoul said in a statement.

Justices are expected to issue an actual ruling on the act at a later date.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images