SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Supreme Court has overturned a law requiring six-member juries in civil trials.
The court ruled 5-0 on Thursday that the law is unconstitutional.
Chief Justice Rita Garman determined in the court’s opinion that the Illinois Constitution does not allow the Legislature to alter the size of civil juries from 12. A 2014 law reduced civil juries to six. The idea was to be able to pay jurors more for their time away from their jobs.
Opponents claimed it was a Democratic boost to trial lawyers because smaller juries would grant larger damage awards.
The case involved a man and woman who filed a medical negligence lawsuit and demanded 12 jurors.
Two justices took no part in the decision.