On March 17, 2020 voters in Illinois' Cook County will vote in the primary election. In addition to the well-covered presidential contest and other countywide races, there are 37 judicial vacancies on the ballot this year, including a Supreme Court seat and two Appellate Court seats. With the exception of a few suburban subcircuit contests, winning the Democratic primary amounts to securing the judicial post, as most Democratic candidates will face no Republican opposition in the November general election.
Judges have the power to make decisions about guilt and innocence, to take away someone's freedom, to interpret or overturn state laws, and to correct or perpetuate injustices. Yet there are few places to get information about the people running for judge. That's why we've created this election guide.
For months our team has scoured the public record to collect information about the candidates, their past employment, campaign contributions, and disciplinary records. We have also collected the recommendations of the three major bar associations: the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Chicago Council of Lawyers (CCL) and the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). And we've noted endorsements from labor groups, including the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Fraternal Order of Police, AFSCME, and Personal PAC, a pro-choice group.
Here's everything you need to be an informed voter.