Sunday, October 21, 2007

Associate judge applications to reopen soon?

I wasn't able to attend the October 17 Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening's program "A Guide to the Alliance Judicial Evaluation Process," but Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Jannusch, a member of the LAGBAC JEC, wrote today to advise that Chief Judge Timothy Evans made some news at the program: According to Jannusch, Judge Evans told the group that he's written the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts advising of five vacancies in the office of Associate Judge and requesting permission to open a new application process.

There will be a 30 day window for applications when the court receives permission to post the vacancies -- and while the applications are pending (and they often remain pending for many months), the number of vacancies is likely to grow. For the last class of associate judges, for example, there were 242 applicants for what turned out to be 31 positions.

Associate judges are elected by the full circuit judges (the judges elected by the people). In Cook County, a screening committee composed of judges will sort through all the applications and choose two finalists for every vacancy. Thus, in the last class, 62 finalists were chosen for the 31 positions. The circuit judges will make their choices from this list of finalists and the candidates finishing in the upper half of the voting will go on the bench.

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