Windhorst Blasts Legislation Forcing All Constitutional Lawsuits to be Filed in Sangamon or Cook County

SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday, State Rep. Patrick Windhorst expressed strong opposition to legislation that would prevent Illinois citizens from filing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of laws or executive orders issued by the Governor in any county besides Sangamon or Cook County. Windhorst argued forcefully against HB 3062 during House Floor debate on the legislation.

“In my community, if this body passes a constitutionally questionable piece of legislation, which happens quite often, this bill says that if someone wishes to file a lawsuit based on the constitutionality of a law or executive order of the governor, then that person will have to file that lawsuit in Springfield or Chicago,” Windhorst said. “The Democrats in Illinois have received some rulings that didn’t go in their favor on things like the SAFE-T Act, and the Governor’s COVID Executive Orders, or on the recent firearms and ammunition ban. So, instead of passing laws that meet constitutional muster, Democrats are changing the rules, denying due process and local court access, and trampling on the rights of the citizens that I serve.”

Rep. Windhorst posited that he believes the reason Democrats are working to change where individuals can file lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of laws and executive orders is simply because “They can.”

“The excuses provided by the Illinois Attorney General’s office that they do not have the resources to travel to locations other than Springfield or Chicago to answer the questions posed in lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of laws and executive orders don’t hold any weight with me, especially as we have continuously placed more responsibility on the Attorney General’s office during this session,” Windhorst said. “The reason Democrats are doing this is quite simply because they can, and that is not a good reason to deny the citizens of Illinois the right to seek remedy at a local circuit court when they feel their rights are being violated.”

Windhorst was joined in opposing the measure by all House Republican members. The bill advanced despite GOP opposition and now moves to the Governor’s desk.