adjudged in the interim. Licenses and registrations which have
lapsed during and been denied renewal because of the invalid
suspensions must be accorded continued validity while the
holders thereof are given a reasonable opportunity to renew
4. This Court is dissolved, and the case is remanded to the
single-judge court to effectuate this judgment and, if
necessary, to award other appropriate relief.
For the reasons stated in my prior dissent,*fn1 I am in
agreement with the majority's conclusion that the driver's
licenses and vehicle registrations of the class plaintiffs
were revoked in a constitutionally impermissible manner, and
that these rights must be immediately reinstated by the
defendants. However, I cannot join in the majority's belated
attempt to reconstrue the challenged statutory scheme in a
strained manner designed to save its constitutionality.
In its original opinion filed November 25, 1970, the
majority ruled that the Illinois Financial Responsibility Law
provides for hearings subsequent to revocation of driver's
licenses and vehicle registrations under the challenged
provisions. The majority further ruled that the challenged
provisions operate independently of considerations of fault or
potential liability. In the face of these findings, the
majority concluded that such a revocation procedure was
constitutionally permissible. Pollion v. Lewis, 320 F. Supp. 1343,
1353 (N.D.Ill. 1970). The Supreme Court unanimously
rejected the majority's original conclusion in a case involving
a challenge to a similar statutory scheme. Bell v. Burson,
402 U.S. 535, 542-543, 91 S.Ct. 1586, 29 L.Ed.2d 90 (1971). There,
the Supreme Court held that before a driver's license or
vehicle registration could be revoked, due process required
that the person affected be afforded a prior hearing to
consider the reasonable likelihood of a judgment being entered
against him. The Supreme Court thereafter vacated the
majority's judgment and remanded this case "for reconsideration
in light of Bell v. Burson." Pollion v. Lewis, 403 U.S. 902, 91
S.Ct. 2212, 29 L.Ed.2d 678 (1971).
None of the parties before this three-judge court has ever
advanced the contention that the challenged provisions of the
Illinois Financial Responsibility Law authorize either (a)
hearings prior to revocation of driver's licenses and vehicle
registrations, or (b) consideration of fault or potential
liability in connection with an automobile accident as a basis
for determining the applicability of the punitive provisions
of the Act. Both the majority and dissenting opinions
originally filed in this case construed the statutory scheme
as excluding both of these requirements set forth in Bell v.
Burson, supra. Indeed, the clear, unambiguous language of the
statute itself dictates such an interpretation.
Section 7-101 of the Act, the provision upon which the
majority based its original finding that the statute
authorizes hearings subsequent to the issuance of revocation
orders, provides "for hearings upon request of persons
aggrieved by orders or acts" of the defendants. Ill.Rev.Stat.
1969, ch. 95 1/2 § 7-101. Reasonable interpretation of this
provision compels the conclusion that hearings are to take
place after the issuance of suspension or revocation orders
when requested by persons adversely affected by those orders.
Furthermore, Section 7-205 of the Act directs the defendant
Secretary of State to suspend "the license
of each driver in any manner involved" in an accident within
30 days after he has determined that a security deposit is
required under Section 7-201.*fn2 It is therefore an
inescapable conclusion that the Illinois General Assembly
intended this statutory scheme to apply to all uninsured
motorists involved in any manner in automobile accidents, and
the statutory language directs the Secretary of State to so
apply the Act. There is no statutory grant of discretionary
authority upon any state officer to apply the punitive
provisions of the Act in the manner now invisioned by the
majority. By reconstruing this statutory scheme to authorize
prior hearings on the issue of potential liability, contrary to
the explicit language of the Act itself, the majority has
usurped a purely legislative function in order to salvage an
otherwise unconstitutional statute.
It is significant that none of the parties appealed the
majority's original construction of the statute, and the
interpretation given the challenged provisions by all involved
in this litigation was not an issue before the Supreme
Court.*fn3 Rather, these class plaintiffs appealed the
majority's conclusion that a prior hearing with respect to
potential liability was not constitutionally required before
revocation of driver's licenses and vehicle registrations.
Instead of re-examining this conclusion in light of Bell v.
Burson, supra, the majority has elected to justify its original
conclusion by merely altering its underlying findings with
respect to construction of the statute itself. Under these
circumstances, I am of the opinion that the majority's
reinterpretation of the statute is untimely, improper, and
ROBSON, Chief District Judge (dissenting).