Illinois residents are subject to Illinois state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Illinois as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Illinois also has its own state laws. Illinois state laws include the Illinois Constitution, laws passed by the Illinois legislature and periodically codified in the Illinois Compiled Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Illinois laws.
The current version of the Illinois Constitution was adopted in 1970 and consists of 14 articles. The final article provides the four processes for amending the Constitution. First, a proposed amendment will appear on a ballot if 60 percent of each chamber of the Illinois General Assembly approves the amendment. Article XIV also provides for amendments proposed through ballot initiatives, but only regarding subjects covered by Article IV. A proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot if 60 percent of each chamber of the General Assembly votes in its favor. Finally, a proposal for a constitutional convention also will appear on a ballot automatically every 20 years.
The Illinois Compiled Statutes contain the laws passed by the Illinois legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Illinois Constitution are often interpreted by the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court, which is divided into five districts. Three federal district courts in Illinois also issue decisions that may affect Illinois residents. These are the Northern, Central, and Southern District Courts of Illinois. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Illinois. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Seventh Circuit or from the Illinois Supreme Court.