Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sun-Times publishes bar ratings

The Chicago Sun-Times posted a comprehensive table on its website Saturday showing both the Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Association ratings, side-by-side, for both the judicial retention candidates and the almost entirely unopposed judicial election candidates. That's a link to the Sun-Times site in the preceding sentence; sadly, my HTML skills are inadequate to reproduce the table here. However, you'll find links to the Alliance grids for the retention judges, the CBA Green Guide, the Chicago Council of Lawyers Evaluation Report, the report of the Judicial Performance Commission of Cook County, the Cook County Retention Judges' own website, and candidate responses to questionnaires posed by both the Tribune and the Illinois Civil Justice League -- all in the Sidebar of this blog.

The Sun-Times also ran an editorial Saturday urging voters to make informed choices in judicial elections. A substantial excerpt:
Most overwhelmed voters skip [the judicial races], or worse, just pick the names they like.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Each election cycle, a dozen bar associations invest hundreds of hours evaluating Illinois judges for us. They do all the work and simply ask us to spend a few minutes making an informed choice.

Don't let that good work go to waste. On our website, you'll find charts laying out how different bar associations rate judges.

The good news is that they largely agree on the lemons. Based on their recommendations, the Chicago Sun-Times is urging voters to toss three Cook County Circuit Court judges: Susan Jeanine McDunn; Dorothy F. Jones, and James "Jim" Ryan. We're also urging yes votes for three quality Illinois Supreme Court Justices: Charles E. Freeman, Thomas Kilbride and Bob Thomas.
For the record, Cook County voters will have the opportunity only to pass on the retention of one Illinois Supreme Court Justice. Only Justice Charles E. Freeman is on the ballot in Cook County. Despite the commercials, Cook County voters don't have a say on whether Justice Kilbride will remain in office. (Justice Thomas is on the ballot in Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane and all the other counties in the Second Appellate District; Justice Kilbride is on the ballot in Will, Grundy, LaSalle, Kankakee and 17 other counties in the Third Appellate District.)

1 comment:

Albert said...

Actually, most Cook County voters do vote on the retention judges (participation has averaged 58% in recent years). And there's very little name-based voting--only a few percent worth at most, even for the most extreme differences in names. Most of the voters who participate vote simply all-yes or all-no.