How do you know how to vote for judges? The Illinois State Bar Association has some help. The lawyers’ group polls lawyers and asks about those running for circuit court, and does an in-depth analysis – including an in-person interview – of those running for Appellate Court and Supreme Court, says Joe Emmerth, the chairman of the evaluation committee for candidates outside Cook County.
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“By the time these recommendations get to the public, they’ve been discussed, debated and voted on at least two or three times. And then once the full committee makes its decision, it gets released to the public. It’s posted on the ISBA’s website,” he said. That website is www.ISBA.org, and you can click on judicial evaluations (or go directly to www.isba.org/judicialevaluations). Unfortunately, all you’ll get are whether the candidates are recommended or not recommended.
The candidates are evaluated on legal ability, integrity, impartiality, judicial temperament, and whether their published rulings are consistent with the law, well-reasoned and easy to follow. Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, running for retention in Southern Illinois, is recommended.