Appellate Justice Lisa Holder White named to replace Justice Garman

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday that 4th District Appellate Justice Lisa Holder White has been appointed to succeed Justice Rita Garman, making her the first Black woman to serve on the state’s high court. “Being appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court is the honor of a lifetime. I am humbled by the confidence […]

Garman to retire from state Supreme Court, setting up appointment to replace her

SPRINGFIELD – Republican Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman announced Monday that she will retire on July 7, marking the end of a long legal career that has included 48 years as a jurist. She would have been up for retention this year, but the timing of her retirement means the other six justices will […]

Session Recap: Lawmakers pass limits on campaign contributions in judicial races

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing “Session Recap” series in which Capitol News Illinois is following up on many of the more-than 200 measures that passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly during the final week of spring session which adjourned at 6 a.m. April 9.    SPRINGFIELD – This year’s […]

After the Madigan charges, Democrats lack an appetite for new ethics reform this spring

SPRINGFIELD — The day a 22-count federal corruption indictment came down against former Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, those controlling Illinois’ state government quickly reacted to the horrors of the racketeering and bribery allegations. Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker called the charges “deplorable and a stark violation of the public’s trust” and touted how state ethics […]

State Supreme Court: Officials may, sometimes, use campaign funds for criminal defense

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that elected public officials and their campaign committees may, in limited circumstances, use campaign funds to pay criminal defense attorney fees. The case involved a former Chicago city alderman, Danny Solis, who reportedly avoided federal prosecution by agreeing to cooperate with the FBI and Department of Justice […]

State Supreme Court asked to define limits of river access

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked to decide the extent to which property owners can block anyone else, including neighboring property owners, from accessing a river that runs through their property. It’s a question of law that Illinois courts have not fully addressed before and one over which different states have vastly […]

State Supreme Court reviewing FOID law constitutionality

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked for a second time to decide whether a state law requiring gun owners to have a firearm permit is unconstitutional – a question the court previously declined to answer. The case involves a White County resident, Vivian Claudine Brown, who was charged in March 2017 with […]

State files appeal to Supreme Court on mask mandate ruling

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked to review the state’s mask mandate and other COVID-19 mitigation orders for K-12 schools on an expedited schedule. Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a petition for appeal Tuesday, along with a motion for an emergency stay of a Sangamon County judge’s order to block enforcement of […]

AG asks state Supreme Court to order sentence in sex assault

CHICAGO — The Illinois attorney general’s office has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to impose a sentence in a case where a western Illinois judge threw out the sexual assault conviction of an 18-year-old man. Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a mandamus complaint and a motion for supervisory order asking the state’s highest court to […]

Illinois Supreme Court weighing officials’ use of campaign funds for lawyers

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether public officials who are under investigation or charged with crimes may use their campaign funds to pay for their legal defense. The court heard oral arguments last week in a case involving a former Chicago city alderman, Daniel Solis, then chairman of the […]

Illinois high court hears case over spending campaign money on criminal defense lawyers

CHICAGO — Is it a “customary and reasonable” expense for Illinois politicians under criminal investigation to use campaign funds to pay for lawyers to keep them out of prison? Or, is that practice a complete breach of what political donations are supposed to be all about: paying for yard signs, petition circulators, political mailers and […]

Illinois Supreme Court lifts hold on judicial redistricting

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court will lift its pause order on judicial redistricting on Jan. 1, fully implementing new judicial boundaries passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker earlier this year. The judicial district boundaries will change for the first time since they were established in 1964. The […]

State Supreme Court rules on pair of gun cases

SPRINGFIELD – In its latest round of opinions Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a Village of Deerfield assault weapons ban and restored a Putnam County man’s right to a Firearm Owners Identification card over the objections of the Illinois State Police. The decision in the Deerfield case was split 3-3, with Justice Michael Burke abstaining […]

State Supreme Court asked to rule in case of woman allegedly raped by Lyft driver

SPRINGFIELD – The rideshare company Lyft argued before the Illinois Supreme Court Wednesday that a 2014 state law protects it from being held liable for the criminal actions of one of its drivers who allegedly raped a passenger in 2017. The case centers on the constitutionality of the state’s first law to regulate the industry, […]