Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride '81 published an article in the November issue of the Illinois Bar Journal warning that the court system cannot function with continued budget cuts.
"Certainly as stewards of public funds, our courts must be frugal,” Kilbride wrote. "And, just as certainly, there are ways we can save money in the judicial branch. But, to put it bluntly, the budget problems in Illinois can never be fixed by the continuous slashing of our court budget. We plead with our two coequal branches to provide essential funding for our court system.”
"Continuing to impose substantial cuts may well wreak havoc with the Illinois courts’ ability to conduct business,” Kilbride explained. "If left unresolved, budgetary shortfalls could threaten the justice system as a whole, as has occurred in many other states where courthouses were simply shuttered and criminal defendants were sometimes released due to speedy-trial violations.”
"We must remind everyone that the administration of justice is not a luxury to be cut in hard times but a core function of our democracy.”