Publications

Articles on Constitutional Law

Court authorizes cities to ban alcohol sales in strip clubs

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2006
LawPulse
Page 578
The Illinois Supreme Court upholds a Chicago ordinance banning the sale of alcoholic beverages at "gentleman's clubs."

New rule requires reasons, not conclusions, from judges who declare statutes unconstitutional

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2006
LawPulse
Page 578
Under a new Illinois Supreme Court Rule, it's not enough for a circuit court to merely say that a statute is unconstitutional. It has to say why as well.

Eavesdropping statute applies only where all parties intend private communication

September
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 464
On June 23, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, holding transcriptions of instant message communications were not obtained in violation of Illinois' eavesdropping statute.

Municipal Sign Ordinances: Three Common Constitutional Flaws and Their Solutions

By Kara N. Lundy
September
2006
Article
Page 490
Here's how counsel for municipalities can cure three common sign-ordinance infirmities.

The limited lockstep doctrine

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2006
LawPulse
Page 338
In a dog-sniff case, the Illinois Supreme Court wrote that it will interpret state constitutional provisions more expansively than their federal counterparts only under limited circumstances. 

DNA sampling does not violate the Constitution

June
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On March 23, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, holding that evidence admitted against the defendant at trial was properly admitted and that section 5-4-3 of the Unified Code of Corrections, which requires convicted felons to submit DNA samples to the police, does not violate the United States Constitution. 

Section of the Illinois Election Code is unconstitutional

May
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 230
On March 6, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, holding unconstitutional section 7A-1 of the Illinois Election Code (10 ILCS 5/7A-1).

Adding conditions to plea agreement after it is negotiated may violate defendant’s due process rights

March
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 118
On December 20, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and vacated the sentence imposed by the Circuit Court of Cook County on the defendant.

Section of the Adoption Act violates Equal Protection

October
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 506
On August 1, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, terminating the parental rights of the defendant. 

Is the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act Unconstitutional?

By Roger L. Price
June
2005
Article
Page 298
The author reviews recent decisions on the constitutional validity of the Act and recommends legislative action.

Section 1(D)(q) of the Adoption Act violates equal protection

June
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 280
On March 24, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court held that section 1(D)(q) of the Adoption Act, 750 ILCS 50/1(D)(q), is unconstitutional because it violates equal protection.

Child’s Representative Statute Held Unconstitutional

By H. Joseph Gitlin
April
2005
Column
Page 212
The implications of In re Marriage of Bates.

You take the sofa, I’ll take the Fifth…

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
Forget about dirty laundry; what if your divorcing client did – or might have done – something criminal? Here's advice about advising clients how and when to take the Fifth.

All constitutional requirements must be met in order for property to qualify for a charitable-use property tax exemption

March
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 116
On December 2, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the orders of the appellate and circuit courts, which reversed the Illinois Department of Revenue's (Department) holding that the property in question was not tax exempt. 

Correspondence from Our Readers

March
2005
Column
Page 106
Search and Seizure and the Illinois Constitution 

Amended insanity defense does not violate the equal protection clause of the Illinois Constitution

February
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
On November 19, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, denying the defendant's motion for a new trial and sentencing him to jail for 45 years.

Recent Miranda Rulings Complicate an Already Complex Standard

By Kerry J. Bryson
February
2005
Article
Page 76
Last year, the US. and Illinois Supreme Courts issued Miranda opinions – and the issue remains as confusing as ever.

Denial of “fitness to stand trial” hearing in a parental rights proceeding did not violate father’s due process rights

November
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 568
On August 20, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's decision finding the respondent father unfit to parent a child and terminating his parental rights.

Breach of fiduciary duty is an equitable action for which no constitutional right to a jury trial exists

October
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 514
On July 8, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of DuPage County to strike a defendant-beneficiary's demand for a jury trial.

Illinois’ “zero tolerance law” does not deny equal protection or due process

July
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 340
On April 15, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the "zero tolerance law," finding that it does not deny equal protection or due process. 

A reasonable contract provision that acts as a restraint on trade will not be held void as against public policy

May
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 242
On February 20, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial and appellate courts' holding that a restriction in a contract between a company in the business of leasing truck drivers and its customer was not invalid as against public policy.

Supreme court upholds constitutionality of unsafe-building demolition law

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2004
LawPulse
Page 236
The supreme court held recently that municipalities can tear down unsafe buildings as soon as the circuit court enters a demolition order.

Due Process in Zoning Hearings: Guidelines for Complying with the Supreme Court’s Mandate

By Ronald S. Cope
February
2004
Article
Page 88
The supreme court recently required broader due-process rights for objectors to zoning decisions. Here's how municipalities can comply.

Consumer Fraud Act protections for car dealers deemed “special legislation”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2003
LawPulse
Page 594
A recent Illinois Supreme Court case hands car buyers a victory.

Offense elements must be identical for a proportionate penalties clause challenge to succeed

December
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 600
On September 18, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the portion of the appellate court's decision that vacated the defendant's extended-term sentence. 

The periodic presence of a probationer does not constitute grounds for indiscriminate searches

December
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 600
On September 18, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the circuit and appellate courts' judgments to suppress evidence found during a search of the defendant's motel room in which a probationer subject to a search condition was staying.

“Stop and Frisk” in Illinois: Recent Supreme Court Terry-Doctrine Decisions

By Michelle M. Jochner
December
2003
Article
Page 616
A look at recent decisions that define when warantless stops are permissible under the Fourth Amendment.

Counseling gay couples

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2003
LawPulse
Page 544
While the issues that arise in gay relationships are familiar, the legal framework is different. It's a difference that family practitioners and estate planners should learn to navigate.

Involuntary Administration of Psychotropic Drugs: Balancing Safety and Civil Liberties

By Anthony E. Rothert
October
2003
Article
Page 496
A look at recent cases and trends in this dynamic area of law.

The State may not discriminately select when to grant use immunity when doing so would prevent the defendant from fully and meaningfully presenting his defense

October
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 492
On July 11, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, vacated the order of the Circuit Court of LaSalle County denying the defendant's motion to suppress evidence.

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