EDWARDSVILLE - Andy Carruthers of Godfrey was sworn in Monday as an associate judge after the circuit judges ended a long-time practice of limiting appointments from the Republican Party.

Andy Carruthers - Associate Judge

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Carruthers, of Godfrey, was elected by the nine circuit judges, five Democrats and four Republicans.

“It’s about time,” said Madison County Treasurer Chris Slusser, a Republican. He said Carruthers is a good lawyer and has worked for him in various of Slusser’s business matters.

“It should have happened a long time ago; the only problem was the letter behind his name,” said Mike Walters, a Republican and vice chairman of the Madison County Board.

In January of 2019, the circuit judges appointed prominent Democrat Barry Julian to an associate judgeship. At that time, eight of the nine circuit judges were Democrats. The move attracted criticism from Republican leaders who said that as the “majority party,” one of their associates should get an appointment to an associate judgeship.

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Carruthers’ fellow Republicans and others acknowledged that Carruthers is a good lawyer and will do a good job.

Carruthers, in a speech during his swearing-in ceremony, expressed his appreciation to the nine circuit judges who elected him. There are five Democrat circuit judges and four Republicans. At least one Democrat voted for Carruthers. The vote is conducted by the Illinois Office of Courts; the vote is by secret ballot.

The new associate judge started out with the firm of Stobbs and Sinclair, based in Godfrey. He gave praise to John Dale Stobbs and James Sinclair, his first employer. He also was an associate of the Heppler Broom firm in Edwardsville and was in private practice. He was sworn in by Circuit Judge Steve Stobbs, the son of John Dale Stobbs.

Most recently, he was the assistant state’s attorney for the Civil Division at the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office. “Hopefully, this is the last job I will have,” he said.

Carruthers fills the vacancy left by the retirement of Associate Judge Clarence Harrison. Carruthers said he is grateful to Harrison for much of what he learned practicing law before Harrison.

He will be assigned to the Family Law Division working with Family Law Chief Judge Amy Sholar, a Republican.

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