The Carbondale Reporter

Jacobs: “The new Illinois law limiting where people may file legal complaints for state constitutional violations is now facing its own lawsuit.”

September 15, 2023

(The Carbondale Reporter)—The new Illinois law that restricts the locations where citizens can file lawsuits regarding the constitutionality of various laws is now facing its own legal challenge. Rep. Paul Jacobs recently brought attention to House Bill 3062, which has caused controversy among Illinois residents. The Liberty Justice Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of three St. Clair County residents, arguing that the law violates the Illinois Constitution by limiting their voting rights and stripping courts of jurisdiction over certain matters.

Jacobs, a Republican state representative, shared an article from Illinois Policy that shed light on the situation. The article explained that recent litigation surrounding COVID-19 restrictions, gun bans, and the elimination of cash bail led to temporary restraining orders that halted controversial policies. House Bill 3062 aims to end “venue shopping” by limiting where citizens can challenge the constitutionality of state laws.

The lawsuit, filed on August 29, names the state’s attorney general, Kwame Raoul, as the defendant. The plaintiffs, Brad Weisenstein, Dawn Elliot, and Kenny Cook, are seeking Declaratory and Injunctive Relief. They argue that the new law unconstitutionally strips most of the state’s circuit courts of their jurisdiction and challenges the power of the General Assembly. Additionally, they claim that residents of certain counties have an advantage in electing judges to hear these cases, while others do not.

House Bill 3062, which applies to actions brought against the State or its employees, officers, or agents, except for collective bargaining disputes, did not receive any support from House Republicans when it was put to a vote. The lawsuit filed by the Liberty Justice Center highlights the concerns raised by citizens who believe that this law infringes upon their constitutional rights and limits their access to justice.