Why Illinois eliminating cash bail is a big deal
While red states restrict rights, the Land of Lincoln blazes a more hopeful trail.
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The GOP have turned the states into laboratories of tyranny, innovating a slew of bold, brutal assaults on voting rights, reproductive rights, and the rights of marginalized people. Florida has banned trans people from using public restrooms that align with their gender. Idaho passed a law to make it criminal to help someone under 18 to leave the state for abortion care. Tennessee has used court fees and felony disenfranchisement to strip voting rights from 21 percent of its Black citizens.
Some of these laws have been overturned by courts, but the assault is nonetheless relentless, and disheartening. Even when Democrats hold the presidency, it feels like there’s little that can be done to help people in red states as their representatives trap them in airless bubbles of authoritarianism.
The story of red states’ embrace of unfreedom is important to report. But it’s also important to recognize countervailing efforts for liberty and equality in blue states.
As one example, Illinois’s pioneering elimination of cash bail has gotten relatively little national attention. But the policy is a genuine breakthrough, and one which points the way forward for national change.
Cash bail is unjust
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