The 21st Show

Illinois courts are hiding from ‘freedom of information’

Illinois Supreme Court

Illinois Supreme Court Capitol News Illinois

“It is declared to be the public policy of the State of Illinois that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials and public employees.”

It’s been almost 40 years since our state’s Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, went into effect. It’s based on similar legislation at the federal level. What happens when an entire branch of state government declares itself exempt from the law? Illinois’ judicial branch has done just that, because of what amounts to a loophole. Advocates for a transparent judiciary branch say that leaves Illinoisans in the dark and keeps them from holding state government accountable.


Sophia Van Pelt 

(Financial) Policy Analyst, Better Government Association | Author, How Illinois Courts Are Hidden From FOIA

Sarah Staudt

Director of Policy, Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts

Gunita Singh

Staff Attorney, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


Prepared for web by Reginald Hardwick and Owen Henderson

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