2018 Cook County judicial voting guide: 11th subcircuit

In the 11th subcircuit, which covers parts of west and northwest suburban Cook County and northwest Chicago, two candidates are vying for one judicial seat.

Once elected, there is no difference in responsibility of the countywide judges and subcircuit judges. All voters will have the chance to vote for all countywide candidates, but voters only vote for subcircuit candidates in their own area.

Kennedy vacancy
Democratic primary: 

Investigations that expose, influence and inform. Emailed directly to you.

Scott Frankel

Name: Scott J. Frankel (D)
Running for: 11th subcircuit: Kennedy vacancy
Bio: Frankel has been a partner at the Frankel & Cohen law firm since 1992, where his work includes criminal defense, appeals, civil rights, and other civil litigation. He also serves as appointed counsel for indigent clients in federal cases. Previously, he spent three years as a Cook County assistant public defender trying misdemeanor and felony cases.
Bar association ratings: Positive
The CCL found Frankel well qualified; only five candidates received that rating. The CBA found him highly qualified and the ISBA found him qualified. The CCL wrote, “He is reported to be respectful to opposing counsel and is generally praised for his temperament. He is reported to be exceptionally conscientious.”
Survey Response: Responding to an Injustice Watch survey, Frankel wrote that one of the issues in the judicial system he is most concerned about is the impact of mandatory minimum sentencing. He suggested there be more discretion in sentencing. (Full survey)

Joanne Rosado

Name: Joanne F. Rosado
Running for: 11th subcircuit: Kennedy vacancy
Bio: Rosado currently serves as a judge hearing traffic cases; she was appointed to the vacancy in January 2017. Her judicial experience has included civil and criminal experience in traffic, forcible, and branch courts. Before becoming a judge, she spent 15 years in the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, including in the civil division, felony trial division, and multiple defendant division. In her last four years she served as lead counsel on first-degree murder cases and mental health cases. She also worked as a solo practitioner on real estate transactions and contract negotiations. Rosado ran for judge unsuccessfully in 2014.
Bar association ratings: Positive
This year: The ISBA, CBA, and CCL found Rosado qualified. The Council wrote, “She was praised for her litigation skills and for having been a strong advocate while maintaining a professional demeanor.”
Past: In 2014 Rosado was found qualified by the CBA and the CCL.
Notable: Rosado was endorsed by the Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Survey Response: Responding to an Injustice Watch questionnaire, Rosado cited her ability to handle a complex workload in the public defender’s office, as well as her current experience as a sitting judge, as reasons she would succeed on the bench. (Full survey)

Republican primary:

There are no Republican candidates running for this seat. 

Injustice Watch has spent the past several months scouring the public record about the candidates. We’ve looked through everything from the candidates’ past employment to court records and campaign contributions. We’ve studied past disciplinary trouble, and we’ve 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). We also offered each candidate the opportunity to complete a survey offering information detailing their experience and reasons for running. (All survey responses have been uploaded online.)

That research has led us to publish several individual articles, as well as this guide to help voters go to the polls better informed. (As a news organization, we are not endorsing any candidates, merely gathering information to help voters judge for themselves.)

Candidates file for a specific race: The candidates declare which seat they seek, and some candidates end up with no opposition at all. With the exception of a few suburban subcircuit contests, winning the Democratic primary amounts to securing the judicial post, as most candidates will face no Republican opposition in the November general election.

The candidates are running to fill openings created on the bench by a judge’s retirement, resignation, or death. Several of the candidates were given temporary appointments by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill vacancies up through the election, but each of them must compete in the elections to win a full six-year term.