Judicial Versus Legilsative Authority after Lebron
Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 98, p. 324, 2010
2 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2010
Date Written: March 15, 2010
In February, 2010 in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, the Illinois Supreme Court invalidated certain statutory caps on non-economic damages in medical negligence cases. The court ruled the caps “unduly” infringed “upon the inherent power of the judiciary” theretofore recognized (albeit in judicial dictum) within the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution. The caps were said to “encroach” on the judiciary’s “sphere of authority” in civil procedure lawmaking because they impeded “the courts in the performance of their function.”
This article examines what types of statutes after Lebron will likely be invalidated on separation of powers grounds. After examining Lebron, the article concludes that there will be heightened judicial scrutiny of statutes on attorney conduct, appellate practice, and jury decision-making.
Keywords: civil procedure, judicial rules, civil procedure codes, Supreme Court rulemaking, separation of powers, inherent judicial authority, judicial power
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