Chicago’s highest court has thrown out the attempt from Jussie Smollett’s legal team to have the new charges against him thrown out.
Appearing on the Ben Joravsky show, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx denounced followers of the case who criticize her handling “B.S.”
“That we are continuing to talk about this in a city that continues to deal with gun violence, in a city that is continuing to reckon with police accountability. That somehow this case has been elevated to one of the greatest criminal injustices in our time feels disingenuous,” Foxx said.
“I talk to too many family members of [victims of] violence who are frustrated that we spend more time talking about this case than the unsolved homicide rate. I talk to people who are worried about their young people who say, ‘Why do we keep talking about Jussie?’ It’s not me. It’s what I hear from the community:`We can’t believe we’re still talking about this.’”
Foxx’s re-election is less than two weeks away.
Chicago Tribune reports the state’s highest court has rejected actor Jussie Smollett’s attempt to throw out the new charges against him and remove the special prosecutor who brought them.
In an emergency motion to the Illinois Supreme Court, Smollett’s attorneys argued that Cook County Judge Michael Toomin overstepped his authority and misinterpreted the law when he ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor in Smollett’s case last year.
On Friday afternoon, the high court denied the request without explanation.
In their filing, Smollett’s attorneys argued that the particular statute Toomin cited to appoint a special prosecutor can only be invoked if the state’s attorney filed a formal petition for recusal — which Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx never did.
Foxx withdrew from the case last year in what she termed a “colloquial” recusal, then assigned her top deputy to handle the matter, which Toomin said rendered the entire prosecution invalid. Foxx had the right to step away but did not have the right to name her successor, the judge said.
But, Smollett’s attorneys argued, only Smollett himself had grounds to question whether the person who prosecuted him was properly qualified to do so.
“(If) there, in fact, had been a defect in the authority to prosecute Mr. Smollett, the only person who could properly challenge the validity of the proceedings would be Mr. Smollett — and he has not done so,” the motion states.
As a result, they argued, the state Supreme Court should throw out the order appointing a special prosecutor as well as vacate the charges currently pending against the actor.
The high court roundly rejected the motion, meaning Smollett’s case will be back before a Cook County judge March 18 as scheduled.
Smollett faces six new counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about being the victim of a phony racist and homophobic attack.
Cook County prosecutors last year charged him with 16 counts of the same crime centered on the same allegations — but abruptly dropped them, with little explanation, the next month. It was a highly controversial move that has cast a long shadow over the upcoming primary race for state’s attorney.