Thursday, October 09, 2008

Alliance posts evaluations so far in retention races

The Alliance of Bar Associations has nearly completed its evaluation of all 70 Circuit and Appellate judges seeking retention in Cook County on November 4. Only the Hellenic Bar Association has yet to finish weighing in on the retention judges; when I receive that organization's evaluations, I will post it as well.

The ISBA's Joyce Williams, who organizes the process of collating and distributing all this information for the Alliance, said in an email, "Since we are sensitive to the fact that many voters would prefer a composite rating, we included a percentage column of favorable ratings from those Alliance members who have submitted ratings." In looking at the grids that follow (and, please, click to enlarge each grid in order to read it more easily), the percentage of favorable ratings is the number in the first left column after the judge's name.

There are two initial things that should be kept in mind while evaluating these grids. First, an impressive majority of judges seeking retention was recommended for retention by each of the Alliance bar associations. Second, while some bar associations differed with each other (and with the Chicago Bar Association) over the merits of particular retention candidates, every single judge up for retention this year was found qualified by one or more of the bar associations that investigated the judges' credentials.

Here, then, are the Alliance grids as of today's date:

This list is in alphabetical order. The ballot order will be different. Ms. Williams mentioned that, "The Chicago Council of Lawyers/Appleseed For Justice has their '' website up and running." That site, she said, "does show ballot order with 'yes' and 'no' punch numbers to answer the 'should this judge be retained' question."

The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening is comprised of the Asian American Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Council of Lawyers, Cook County Bar Association, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Hellenic Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois working collaboratively to improve the process of screening judicial candidates in Cook County, Illinois.

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