SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Judges Association President Justice David Overstreet announced a day of activities for current and retired judges and their guests on Thursday, May 9 at the Illinois State Capitol complex in Springfield. The day celebrates the impact of Judicial Independence as the “Bulwark of Democracy.”

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The morning events, organized by the IJA Judges Retirement Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association, will kick-off at 9:30 AM at the Illinois State Library. Speakers include Former Cook County prosecutor and Chicago FBI agent Terrence Hake and Retired Judge Mark VandeWiele.

Hake will recount how he, as an undercover operative with the FBI, in collaboration with the IRS, U.S. Postal Service, Chicago Police Department, and Illinois State Police conducted “Operation Greylord” to root out judicial corruption in Cook County during the 1980s. VandeWiele will address judicial pension and other retirement benefits.

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The afternoon events, organized by Supreme Court Justice Overstreet and IJA committee members, will begin in the Supreme Court of Illinois courtroom at 1:30 PM. Illinois Supreme Court Historian John Lupton will review the history of judicial independence in the court system of Illinois.

Justice Overstreet commented, “I have appreciated for many years John Lupton’s knowledge of the history of the Illinois courts. John’s theme on May 9th captures the primary intent of the day. It is a celebration of the vital role that judicial independence plays in our state and country.”

Lupton’s remarks are followed by Supreme Court Building tours, including access to the residential quarters of the justices. The day is capped by a 4:00 PM reception and barbecue in a tent on the Illinois State Bar Association parking lot.

Registration closes on Wednesday May 1. Judges, retired judges, and their guests may register through a link on the IJA website home page.

The Illinois Judges Association is a membership organization of 1,250 active and retired judges whose purpose is to foster public confidence in the independence of the judiciary, provide services and education to its members, and information about court operations to the public.

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