Every 10 years in Illinois, our Supreme Court and Appellate Court judges face the voters to determine whether they shall be retained in office. This year, a Supreme Court justice coming from our own Rock Island County, Tom Kilbride, is up for retention.
I support Justice Kilbride’s retention for multiple reasons.
First and foremost, Tom is an experienced and able judge. Likewise, as a justice on the Supreme Court, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from; he continues to treat litigants and the public at large, whoever they may be, with fairness, respect and equality.
Tom’s quality as a justice is attested to by the sizeable cross section of those in the legal profession who’ve endorsed him for retention; from sheriffs, to judges, to attorneys; and from Republicans to Democrats. Among many other awards, the Illinois State Crime Commission gave Kilbride its Judicial Award of Excellence.
Some groups have launched a campaign opposing Tom’s retention due to a few decisions they’ve disagreed with over his 20 years on the court. Interestingly, some of these decisions were unanimous. They likewise represent a small fraction of the decisions participated in by Justice Kilbride over his 20 years on the bench.
What we should expect of our judges are individuals who apply the law thoughtfully, honestly, and fairly to all parties; regardless of wealth, position, or partisan affiliation.
With Tom Kilbride, we have such a justice on our Supreme Court. That’s why I hope you’ll join me in voting "yes" for Justice Kilbride for retention in the Nov. 3 election.
Mark W. Schwiebert