lllinois voters appoint three supreme court justices, Democrats retain majority


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta.

Amendment One is still too close to call.

Avani Kalra, City Editor

Voters throughout Illinois voted on three of the states’ seven supreme court justices Tuesday. In Illinois’ second district, Democratic Elizabeth Rochford declared victory after her opponent conceded, and in the third, Democrat Mary O’Brien is ahead with about 95% of the vote counted. 

Mary Jane Theis, the state’s democratic chief justice, was also on the ballot for confirmation for a ten-year term. 

Stakes for the court’s races grew after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. Democrats held a 4-3 majority before Tuesday’s election; with a two Republicans win, the two contested elections could have caused a reversal in party majority. 

Instead, the Democrats may expand their majority.  

Abortion rights activists in the state said a change in state supreme court leadership could place access to abortion and other reproductive services at stake in Illinois. Illinois is currently a stronghold for the procedure, now that abortion is illegal in neighboring states like Wisconsin, Missouri and Indiana. 

Rochford has been a judge on the 19th Circuit Court in Lake County for the past decade. She was “highly recommended” for the Supreme Court position by the Illinois State Bar. The Democrat ran her campaign on expanding women’s rights and combating bias in the courts. 

She ran against Mark Curran, who has served as the Attorney General’s gang crime bureau chief and sheriff of Cook County. He wanted to combat corruption in the position.

O’Brien ran a tight campaign against Michael Burke. She has worked in the State Attorney’s Office and has worked in private practice covering family law, criminal law, real estate, banking and municipal law. 

Her opponent, Michael Burke, was found “highly qualified” by the Illinois State Bar. He has served as a Felony Trial Supervisor and Chief of Special Prosecutions. 

This is a developing story, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @avanidkalra

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