Judge Chris Threlkeld and Judge Amy Sholar today announced they both plan to seek election in the newly gerrymandered 1st Subcircuit of the 3rd Judicial Circuit.

On Wednesday, January 5, with a partisan roll call, without input from the judiciary, with only hours of notice, while most of Madison County was in pajamas, the Chicago machine passed legislation (SB 928) to change the way the voters in Madison County have selected judges for over 50 years. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation less than 48 hours later.

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This new legislation divides Madison County into 3 subcircuits with 8 Madison County Judges amongst the 3 subcircuits. “As it’s clear 8 isn’t divisible by 3, one of the subcircuits – subcircuit 3 – only will have 2 judges elected from it – even though the 3 are equal in population. So the eastern rural part of the county is being disenfranchised,” stated Sholar. “But despite this clear power grab, I am going to do what I promised to do the day I was sworn into office – I’m going to run for office and continue to work hard in family court and be fair and impartial.”

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Judge Threlkeld added, “The judiciary is not a political playground. I will stay focused on continuing to be the best judge I can be for the residents of the 1st subcircuit, in the same way I have been focused on being the best judge I can be for all of the residents of Madison County.”

In addition to defining the subcircuit boundaries, the legislation stipulates the order in which judicial vacancies must be filled, starting with the 1st subcircuit, where the first 3 Circuit Court vacancies of the 3rd Judicial Circuit will be allotted. This numbering deviates from the previous numerical order of all other subcircuits across the state and in reality means those in subcircuit 3 may not vote for a judge again for years.

Both Judges Threlkeld and Sholar were appointed to their seats by the Illinois Supreme Court and both had previously stated their intentions to run in the 2022 election. Until this change, they would have both been running countywide, allowing all the voters of Madison County to decide on who will be their Judge. In under a week they both have had to find new residences within the subcircuit.

“Nothing about this bill changes our desire to be fair and decisive Judges in this County and we look forward to voters giving us that opportunity in November,” stated Threlkeld and Sholar.

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