Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Constitutional Law

Void-for-vagueness doctrine applied in adoptions context; section 1(D)(h) of the Adoption Act permitting termination of parental rights found unconstitutionally vague July 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 342 On April 13, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, applied the void-for-vagueness doctrine to a constitutional analysis of section 1(D)(h) of the Adoption Act, 750 ILCS 50/1 (D)(h).
Section 2-109 of the Code of Civil Procedure does not violate the special legislation or equal protection clauses of the Illinois Constitution June 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 286 On April 19, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's holding that § 2-109 of the Code of Civil Procedure violated the special legislation clause, Ill Const Art IV, § 13, and the right to equal protection, Ill Const Art I, § 2, guaranteed by the Illinois Constitution.
Section 1(D)(p) of the Adoption Act is not unconstitutional; review of substantive due process claims under section 1(D)(p) requires strict scrutiny, not rational relation scrutiny May 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 230 On March 2, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's holding that section 1(D)(p) of the Adoption Act was facially unconstitutional.
The Illinois law prohibiting the unauthorized possession of weapons on public property is not unconstitutionally vague, nor does it violate separation of powers principles April 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 170 On February 16, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's finding that § 21-6 of the Criminal Code of 1961, 720 ILCS 5/21-6, was unconstitutional.
Illinois Supreme Court 2000: The Last Work of the Court as We Knew It By Nancy J. Arnold and Tim Eaton April 2001 Article, Page 174 The last body of cases from a court that included Justices Bilandic, Heiple, Miller, and Rathje.
Aggravated DUI may be expanded; S.B. 0020 March 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 Under Senate Bill 20, persons driving under the influence in school speed zones would be guilty of aggravated DUI.
Drivers failing to yield may face stiffer penalties ; H.B. 0180 March 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 Representative Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, hopes a new proposal will cut down on the number of "rubbernecking" drivers who fail to yield to emergency vehicles.
New proposal to protect children who testify; S.B. 0027 March 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 Under current Illinois law, courts may permit children under 18 who are witnesses in certain criminal prosecutions like sexual assault, predatory sexual assault of a child, and sexual abuse to testify via closed-circuit television outside the courtroom if the judge determines that in-court testimony would result in the child suffering serious emotional distress.
Violations of the constitutional right to a speedy trial, reviewed de novo, are decided by balancing the length of delay, reasons for delay, defendant’s assertion of the right, and the resulting prejudice March 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 On January 19, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's finding that the defendant, Anthony Crane, had his constitutional right to a speedy trial violated.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath February 2001 Column, Page 56 When does may mean must? When it comes to appealing interlocutory orders
Child-witness exception to right to confrontation at trial does not include denial of ability to observe the witness January 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 On November 22, 2000, the Supreme Court of Illinois affirmed the appellate court's finding that a defendant was denied his constitutional right to confrontation during his trial when the trial court allowed the use of podiums to prevent a child witness and the defendant from seeing each other as the witness testified about an alleged sexual attack.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath January 2001 Column, Page 10 Standard of review for fee suits; U.S. Supremes just say no to drug-sniffing dogs at checkpoints; employee claims rejected by 7CA; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath December 2000 Column, Page 686 Extra protection against self-incrimination; grandparents get their (bad) day in court; and more.
Defendant must face custodial interrogation to effectively invoke Miranda right to counsel November 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 624 On September 21, 2000, the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress a confession given by the defendant while in custody on a murder charge.
Employee’s comments regarding employer’s possible violation of food inspection rules were protected speech November 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 624 On September 5, 2000, the seventh circuit court of appeals reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the defendants, Hasara and Danner, officials of the city of Springfield, on Myers claim under 42 USC § 1983 alleging violations of her constitutional rights.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath October 2000 Column, Page 560 The illusion of insurance exclusion; lease lacking, landlord loses; OSHA makes house calls; and more.
Recent U.S. Supreme Court Fourth Amendment Rulings Expand Police Discretion By Michele M. Jochner October 2000 Article, Page 576 Far from drawing bright lines, these rulings have raised new uncertainties, this author argues.
Statute permitting medical records to be given to law enforcement officials investigating motor vehicle accident deemed constitutional September 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 500 On July 6, 2000, the Supreme Court of Illinois reversed the circuit court's finding that section 11-501.4-1 ("the section") of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code is unconstitutional and violated the defendant's right to privacy of his medical records.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath August 2000 Column, Page 434 You still have the right to remain silent; UPL and in-house counsel; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath July 2000 Column, Page 378 Grandparents lose at High Court—but how much? HMOs lose in one high court, win in another; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath June 2000 Column, Page 308 Playing the child-support percentages; ADA news and views; please don't squeeze the luggage; and more.
States as Defendants in Employment Litigation: Beyond Alden v Maine By James P. Hanlon and James J. Powers May 2000 Article, Page 280 The authors discuss how Alden—which holds that Congress can't subject states to private suits for money damages in state court—may affect future employment ligitation.
1999 Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Review: Breathing Life into the Single-Subject Clause By James H. Reddy April 2000 Article, Page 218 The court decided fewer death-penalty cases than in the past and breathed life into the single-subject clause.
Despite gubernatorial veto, General Assembly permissively approves sales taxes for all nonhome rule municipalities; P.A. 91-649 March 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 128 Public Act 91-649 permissively approves sales taxes for all nonhome rule municipalities. Previously, a nonhome rule municipality needed at least 130,000 inhabitants to pursue a sales tax, which effectively precluded most proposals.
A Practical Overview of Illinois’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act By Lisle A. Stalter February 2000 Article, Page 96 An overview of the rights and defenses available under the Illinois RFRA.
Sound amplification statute found unconstitutional January 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On November 18, 1999, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court s finding that the sound amplification statute, known as section 12-611 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/12-611 (West 1999)), is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.
Trial court did not violate defendant’s constitutional rights by commencing trial in her absence January 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On November 18, 1999, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court’s finding that the trial court did not violate a defendant’s constitutional rights by starting her trial in her absence.
Public Act 89-21, the 1996 State Budget Implementation Act, Does Not Violate the Single Subject Requirement of the Illinois Constitution September 1999 Illinois Law Update, Page 460 On July 1, 1999, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that found that Public Act 89-21 violated the single subject requirement of the Illinois Constitution.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie McGrath June 1999 Column, Page 298 Guilty but mentally ill'' passes constitutional muster
Correspondence from Our Readers May 1999 Column, Page 234 Single-subject rule: falling on the sword of Damocles?