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White County States Attorney Releases Statement On Supreme Courts Decision To End Cash Bail

Today, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its ruling decreeing the Pretrial Fairness Act to be constitutional under the Illinois Constitution. As expected, the 5 Democrat Justices sitting on the Illinois Supreme Court (including two who were each reportedly given a million dollars in their recent campaigns by one of the named defendants and who chose not to recuse themselves) chose to endorse a perspective of supremacy of those in governmental power over the sovereignty of the People and their will as embodied in the Illinois Constitution; I fear that today’s ruling will be seen as a signal that rather than acting as a co-equal branch of government, they will have the appearance of a rubber stamp for the actions of the legislative and executive branches regardless of what the Illinois Constitution and prior Supreme Court precedent says. To say that I found the majority opinion to be devoid of sound constitutional reasoning or at least interesting legal gymnastics employed to validate an otherwise unconstitutional law for the sole reason that the majority simply agreed with the policy would be a gross understatement.

As Justice Overstreet wrote in his dissent that was joined by the other Republican member of the Court, Justice Holder White, “The individual rights vested in the Illinois Constitution’s bill of rights are not subordinate to legislative power; the opposite is true. Therefore, in exercising our judicial power, this court may not alter or ignore the plain language of our constitution as set out by the citizens, no matter how strongly the court agrees with the public policy underlying the abolishment of monetary bail. The majority’s analysis, however, does just that.” I could not agree more with this sentiment.

Reading through the opinion, I would like to say that the matter is fully settled; however, the lack of specific constitutional reasoning as to the Bail Clause of the Bill of Rights in this “facial constitutional” challenge means that there very well will likely be other challenges, “constitutional as applied”, when individual defendants are detained without any possibility of release for various offenses in direct contravention of the Illinois Bill of Rights. While the Court held that the legislature could eliminate cash bail without the approval of the People through a referendum, the Court did not even attempt to address the issue of legislatively expanding nonbailable offenses beyond what the Bill of Rights allows though the issue was in front of them, which ultimately can lead to more chaos than previously envisioned with different courts throughout the State making varying decisions in a multitude of individual cases with different offenders and different offenses and different interpretations of the application of those rulings.

Ultimately, the Court has spoken in our challenge to protect the constitutional rights of the People, particularly victims. Regardless of our criticisms of the Court’s ruling as having the appearance of being based on policy preference and partisanship rather than constitutional reasoning or prior Supreme Court decisions, as well as our criticisms of the dangerous policies pursued by those currently controlling the legislative branch and statewide executive offices, law enforcement in White County will, as our system requires, continue to operate with fidelity to the law and will carry out our duties according to the law as the Court has decided. Today’s ruling is a reminder that elections, including and at times most importantly judicial elections, have consequences. Consequently, unless there is a change in this new status quo, we will enforce the law within the parameters of the Pretrial Fairness Act as passed, signed, and for now judicially approved into law when those provisions go into effect on September 18, 2023.”

Respectfully,

Denton W. Aud
White County State’s Attorney
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5 comments
  1. Apathetic Emm
    Apathetic Emm
    July 19, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    I have no words to convey my disappointment with this decision. Will the State be reimbursing us for declining property values, once more mayhem begins and we are forced to sell at a substantial loss? Last person to leave Illinois, please turn out the lights.

    Reply
    • V. S.
      V. S.
      July 22, 2023 at 5:21 pm

      I feel this!
      You should try living in a small town where you pay high taxes and the school board votes to close your school!

      Reply
  2. Been there done that
    Been there done that
    July 20, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    Despite the efforts of our county and adjacent communities to debate this matter there are far reaching corrupted agendas with much deeper pockets . I was raised in a inner city and witnessed the downward mobility created by such conditions and chose many years ago to settle here in hopes this would never be tolerated and yet here we stand facing the same opposition. I for one see the writing on the wall and will painfully make that descision to exit as I believe many will follow suit the resources required to abate what is immennt from this unconstitutional ruling leaves no choice as those who have not weathered these consequences are unprepared to truly understand

    Reply
  3. DB COOPER
    DB COOPER
    August 5, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    D*** melodramatic much?

    You people are morons!

    Reply
    • Officer
      Officer
      August 23, 2023 at 4:33 pm

      Didn’t you jump out of a plane and disappeared ?

      Reply

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