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Illinois judge holds that courts cannot rule retroactively on validity of state debt

SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 | NATIONAL LAW REVIEW

Judge Jack D. Davis, II, sitting in a circuit court in the state capital of Springfield, held that the challenged bonds did not violate a provision of the Illinois Constitution requiring long-term debt to be for a ‘specific purpose,’ because the legislation authorizing the issuances had, in fact, ‘stated with reasonable detail the specific purposes for the issuance of the bonds.’ Judge Davis also held more broadly that the validity of the bond issuances constituted ‘a non-justiciable political question” such that for a court to rule on the issue “would be improper and would violate the separation of powers.

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