On August 29th, the Liberty Justice Center (LJC) sued Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul to challenge a new law that would prevent Illinois residents from challenging state laws, rules, or orders in any state court except the Circuit Courts in Chicago and Springfield.
The law in question is House Bill 3062, which Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law on June 6, 2023. The bill strips all trial courts in Illinois—except those in Cook and Sangamon counties—of the power to hear constitutional challenges to state laws, rules, and orders. Weisenstein v. Raoul alleges that House Bill 3062 is unconstitutional because the Illinois legislature may not limit the subject matter jurisdiction of state circuit courts, and because it denies residents of all counties other than Sangamon County and Cook County the equal protection of the laws.
“The Illinois General Assembly is not allowed to cherry-pick the courts that will hear constitutional challenges to the laws it passes and other states rules and orders,” said Senior Counsel, Jeffrey Schwab.
LJC’s complaint also alleges that House Bill 3062 disenfranchises voters. Under this law, Illinois residents outside Sangamon County and Cook County are forced to present their constitutional claims to judges in other jurisdictions—whom they had no opportunity to vote for or against.
“Voting is a sacred right that was secured by better people than I,” said plaintiff Brad Weisenstein. “To say my cause or case can only be judged by someone from Springfield or Chicago—whom I never had the opportunity to vote for—is just wrong. It’s a breach of our democratic values. It denies me my voice. It cannot be allowed to stand, and I’m grateful the Liberty Justice Center is willing to take on this fight.”
Weisenstein v. Raoul was filed in the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois, on August 29, 2023.
The Liberty Justice Center’s filings are available here.
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The Liberty Justice Center is a nonprofit, public-interest litigation center that fights to protect fundamental constitutional rights. The Liberty Justice Center is best known for its 2018 U.S. Supreme Court victory in Janus v. AFSCME. Learn more about the Liberty Justice Center at LibertyJusticeCenter.org.