Illinois Supreme Court Unanimously Overturns the Country's Strictest Recording Ban


Jacob Sullum
Reason Magazine

Today the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously overturned that state’s draconian eavesdropping law, which makes it a felony to record public officials without their permission, even when they are performing their public duties. Two years ago the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that the law was unconstitutional as applied to police officers recorded in public. Today’s decision extends that analysis to other public officials as well as private citizens when they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy…

…Because the eavesdropping ban “burdens substantially more speech than is necessary to serve a legitimate state interest in protecting conversational privacy,” the court concludes, “it does not survive intermediate scrutiny. We hold that the recording provision is unconstitutional on its face because a substantial number of its applications violate the first amendment.”…



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