Audiotaping police stops in Illinois now fair game

Illinois’ toughest in the nation eavesdropping law is partly unenforceable now that a Chicago prosecutor failed to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to revive the law. Citizens now can make an audio tape of Chicago police making a stop without fe

ar of prosecution. The taping of police stops is part of an ACLU of Illinois program scrutinizing police conduct.

Many media reports overstated the Supreme Court’s action, however. The court merely refused to hear the case. That does not mean that it agrees or disagrees with the lower court ruling that found the law probably violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court’s refusal to review a case is not a ruling of the court, nor does it have precedential value. Many news reports suggested, incorrectly, that the high court was taking a position on the law.

See the St. Louis Beacon story for more details.

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