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Illinois state legislation on way to Governor Pritzker’s desk would mean challenges to laws would have to be filed in either Sangamon or Cook Counties

Gov. JB Pritzker speaks at a lobby day for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association Wednesday in Springfield. (Credit:

Challenges to state laws on constitutional grounds would have to be filed in either Sangamon or Cook Counties, under legislation now on its way to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk.

Supporters say the measure is intended to prevent “venue shopping” by plaintiffs seeking judges in remote venues who might be politically inclined to support their challenges.

But opponents like Republican Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur say it’s an effort to force citizens to travel hundreds of miles to fight for their constitutional rights in what Caulkins calls “kangaroo courts.”

Caulkins recently filed his own constitutional challenge in Macon County against the state’s assault weapons ban, winning a temporary restraining order in a case that is now before the Illinois Supreme Court.