Thursday, December 01, 2016

Judge Fredrick Bates tapped for Lampkin vacancy in 2nd Subcircuit

Justice Bertina E. Lampkin will be sworn in Monday as an elected Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (she has served on that court for several years pursuant to Supreme Court appointment).

Justice Lampkin's elevation will create a vacancy in the 2nd Subcircuit (in addition to being elected to the Appellate Court last month, Justice Lampkin was simultaneously retained as a Circuit Court judge).

The new vacancy won't last long.

Judge Fredrick H. Bates, whose appointment to the countywide Walsh vacancy will end when Patrick Joseph Powers takes his oath of office Monday, was appointed yesterday by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the Lampkin vacancy, effective December 5 (the new appointment will expire on December 3, 2018) (see corrected order changing effective date of appointment from December 6 to December 5).


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Judge Bates! Well-deserved.

Anonymous said...

So of all of the qualified attorneys that currently live in the 2nd Subcircuit, they appoint someone from a different subcircuit who promises to move to the 2nd??? Crook County Politics. So I guess he will win a smaller area since he couldn't win countywide?

Anonymous said...

So Powers, Cleary and Bates have been taken care of. When does Cunningham get his? Will it be countywide or the third subcircuit?

Anonymous said...

Excellent news with this appointment. The Supremes got this one right and just under the wire for Judge Bates. An excellent choice! Now....why not the same sense of urgency with the Delahanty vacancy in the 3rd Subcircuit which has been vacant for months? Obviously there is a fight over it and it's many more than Justices Freeman, Theis and Burke fighting.

Anonymous said...

News of this appointment has been rumored for some time now. Burke and Theis typically do not appoint outside of the subcircuit, however, Freeman has a dissenting opinion and that is o/k. I do not know Bates on a real personal level but I have had substantial contact with him while he ran for judge. I found him to be be smug and arrogant. That is just my opinion and I am sure others believe otherwise. I acknowledge my opinion is meaningless and not really the point of this comment.

This appointment has shocked just about everyone that follows the judiciary: The new judges to be sworn in on Monday; those that have applied multiple times for appointments and have never so much as been called in for an interview; sitting judges; committeemen; bar association JEC members; sideline watchers. All stunned.

When Dane Placko broke the Batesgate story earlier this year, the Supreme Court responded through its spokesperson that they had no knowledge of Judge Bates' prior criminal and civil matters. Apparently Bates never disclosed them. Soon thereafter Bar association JEC members spread gossip far and wide that Bates also did not disclose his past criminal and civil matters to them. Many expected JIB repercussions. Then nothing happens. Absolutely nothing happens. Then Bates, the slated candidate who was rejected by the voters, is reappointed to his $194,000 a year job. If there is even one person out there who has a scintilla of respect left for the Supreme Court after this appointment I would sure like them to comment and explain to me why.

For the very first time I can say with all sincerity and honesty that I am pleased the Supreme Court never appointed me. I do not want to be in that company. And that is not a criticism of Bates. He is what he is. It is a criticism of the Supreme Court. They make me sick.

Anonymous said...

We have to be close to the end, right? How many more losers are left for the Supreme court to appoint? I lost count. Several of the losers were thrown a solid in the last running of the fall classic known as the Associate Baby Judge Lotto. Then the Supreme Court threw a few solids to some losers from way back. A solid was thrown to a loser who was also not too well versed in campaign finance rules. A solid was thrown to a slated quitter who knew she was going to be a loser. They threw a solid to a guy who was a loser and a quitter and who had a complicated relationship with his own name. Now they throw a solid to this guy? I am just going to call this guy another loser and not even comment on his backstory.

I'm here all week, try the veal.

Jack Leyhane said...

Gentle Readers (and I use the term with some hesitancy this morning) -- these comments are awfully harsh. And there were others that, even by the almost-anything-goes standard of the Internet, were downright defamatory.

A certain TV news report figures quite prominently in the comments.

I did not think that Fox News got that much love from typical FWIW readers.

But, haven't we learned anything this year? TV news reports are not always gospel truth.

I have to wonder... how many readers who were upset or outraged or dismissive of the recent Channel 2 report about another judge, are wholly accepting of this one?

Allegations were made. The Court presumably looked into them before making this new appointment. No one is obliged to tell us what was disclosed on inquiry. But I don't think it naive to assume that questions must have been asked.


Anonymous said...

Harsh? Have you not learned anything about the Supreme Court from your own blog over these last years?

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Jack, I can't help but wonder how successful these anonymous commentators would be with their own judicial aspirations if they spent more time in the trenches running than venting their vitriol on your blog. Bates was reappointed; get over it. There are several people being sworn in on Monday who did win but nevertheless will be the future "cautionary tales" of WGN/Fox/BGA headlines. They will represent all portions of the Cook County electorate, including Irish (or Irish-Serbian, as may be the case), Blacks (or Blacks passing off with Irish-sounding names, well, at least until after they win their unopposed primary), Gays, Asians (or Asian-Irish, as may be the case) or just plain bat-turd crazy or otherwise slimy (including a former opponent of some of the recent appointees (or at least one)). But this is the judiciary we have elected and deserve. For those of you who accept these appointments, know that you immediately enjoy the wrath and scorn of thousands of "anonymous" lawyers who will smile to your face and secretly plot to stick a knife in your back when the moment is right -- particularly if you are specially-challenged, (i.e., not Irish and your last name sucks lemons when appearing anywhere other than at the top). Happy hunting in 2018 to all of you haters. Remember: you can't win unless you get on the ballot and 6,500 good signatures won't get collected by sitting at your computer in grandma's basement, complaining about how the Supremes didn't handpick you from obscurity. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

As always, Ocho Loco!

Anonymous said...

I differ greatly with your assessment, Mr. Leyhane. Serious allegations came to light. I recall the Supreme Court did acknowledge the allegations by responding that the Court was not so advised of them by Judge Bates.

I absolutely believe the Supreme Court was obligated publicly comment on Judge Bates and the Fox report prior to making this appointment. Avoid the appearance of impropriety; full and complete disclosure; transparency. Those terms are assumed to govern all judicial conduct are they not? How is confidence in the judiciary maintained and promoted with silence?

We agree questions were asked. I am not as confident as you that the motives of the Supreme Court in making this appointment are in the best interest of the public and the judiciary. The Supreme Court justices are hypocrites at the highest level; and this appointment, the surrounding silence, and the further questions this appointment raises validates this position.

Anonymous said...

Patrick Stanton appointed to Delehanty vacancy in 3rd. Theis apparently defying the powers-that-be in the 3rd Subcircuit. Let's see how well that works. But alas, no matter the outcome, yet another blarney stone will be sworn in December 2018. Erin go bragh!

Jack Leyhane said...

@Anon 12/2 12:21 -- My post on this went up as you were typing your comment.

Now, about this anti-Irish sentiment that seems to crop up with increasing frequency in the comments on this blog... I'm starting to take it personally! Sheeesh.

Lobo Y Olla said...

"No one is obliged to tell us what was disclosed on inquiry. But I don't think it naive to assume that questions must have been asked."


You cant possibly think that with a straight face. This is Cook County. People lose elections because of alleged "cover-ups"

These are stories on the mainstream media today...

CPD - not enough transparency
Alvarez - not enough transparency
Foxx - vows transparency

Jack, "no one is obliged to tell us?" Come on, I love you and your blog, but you really bend over backwards sometimes to protect the judiciary. This smells funny to everyone. I would love to see you take the Judiciary to task for their errors just once. They are not infallible, not immune from political corruption, and NEED to tell the rest of us how they came to their conclusions. That's why we make them write opinions in cases. Is it really too much to ask for some sunshine on appointments?

I will never bring this up again if you can prove to me that the Theis committee has ever actually met to vet all candidates. We all suspect its a sham and they interview only the "winner"

If the candidates think the whole process is rigged and unfair, (and I'm not saying I can prove it actually is) Doesn't good policy require sunshine, review, and accountability?


Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone can dissect why people voted they way they did in the presidential race this year. By the time voters get down to the judicial races, there are no guarantees. The story that never got legs this year was that a shill won in one countywide race, and in another a shill received far more votes than the slated candidate. I have practiced law for a long time, know politics fairly well, keep up with events and when it comes to retention races, I only vote on the judges I know, which after 30 years is about one-third.

If lawyers don't know whether someone is worth a vote for judge, the general public must be clueless. About the only truism anymore is that females always seem to have a better chance against men one on one.

The point is is that simply being reappointed does not mean Bates is in like Flynn (sorry for the Irish reference that is no longer accurate). If someone wants to run against Bates, get the signatures and run. The mail piece has already written itself. Hell, I'm half tempted to move to the 2nd sub (or pretend to move there). When shills and reality show carnival barkers win elections, then we all have a chance.

Jack Leyhane said...

@Lobo Y Olla -- You write, "Jack, 'no one is obliged to tell us?' Come on, I love you and your blog, but you really bend over backwards sometimes to protect the judiciary."

My friend, I'm not 'protecting' the judiciary. I'm merely stating the obvious. The Supreme Court is under no legal obligation to explain any appointment. Nor is the Court required to appoint according to any particular standard other than that the appointee must have an active Illinois law license.

But you (and not a few others, looking through the comments) protest the lack of "transparency." Even where justices have screening committees, you complain that applicants are not interviewed, or at least some aren't interviewed (none of our Anons here seem to have been interviewed -- ever). Of course, the Circuit Court of Cook County interviews each and every applicant for associate judge. I got interviewed many times over the years. And, while not everyone's experiences may have been the same, I always found those interviews to be pleasant and encouraging -- and I still never had a snowball's chance in Hades of making the short list. The AJ process may be more 'transparent,' but the end result will be criticized by some as opaque and political and so on just the same.

As near as I can tell, "transparency" doesn't guarantee anything except more paperwork for applicants. And maybe a lot of work for the designated committees.

What I object to is the nasty assumptions made by some commenters -- just because a process is not "transparent," or not sufficiently transparent in their opinions, it must necessarily be corrupt. Yes, mushrooms grow in the dark, and many of these are poisonous. Others, however, are allegedly gourmet delights (but you can't prove it by me -- I'm allergic to mushrooms). I just don't think it is reasonable to always ascribe the basest of motives to every action with which you disagree.

Tell me, Lobo (and anyone else who's interested) -- what, in your opinion, would a truly "transparent" process look like for filling vacancies?

Lobo Y Olla said...

Tell me, Lobo (and anyone else who's interested) -- what, in your opinion, would a truly "transparent" process look like for filling vacancies?

1st- Provide a simple list of all candidates who were actually interviewed for a supreme court appointment. I know all applicants are interviewed for associate spots, but no one knows who the blue ribbon committees interview.

2nd- These meetings should have some small portion of the proceedings become public. Model it on Illinois Senate confirmation procedures. (Generally, Senate confirmation hearings are a perfunctory affair, however, such a process would let the public-at-large weigh in on candidates.) Any late term negative facts discovered about a candidate could be addressed in this way. (I'm not suggesting the Senate should confirm, but rather after the blue ribbon committee proffers the best qualified candidate, there could be an en banc "confirmation hearing" by the Illinois Supremes.)

3rd- Supremes should bar themselves from nominating any attorney who, gave to their campaign, clerked for them, are related by blood or marriage.Its a small ask. I'm not asking to bar those candidates, just put in a buffer between them. The optics on those appointments are terrible.

4th - All appointment vacancies should be published. No more surprise, super fast, under the radar appointments.

For associate spots.

1st- All bar associations have to give written summaries of their opinions of judicial candidates. A bar association, at the absolute minimum, must produce a written reasoning for any finding of "not qualified" or synonymous negative finding.

2nd- All bar associations must have their results returned to the candidate within 21 days. (Too often it is silently alleged that bar associations withhold their findings until after the petition filing deadline or it becomes clear that you as a candidate are not "competing" with one of their members.)

3rd- There needs to be true anonymity with the candidate review process. Every judge/candidate has at least one story about a candidate/judge commenting on what someone said during the review process. I suggest something similar to my old college where some sort of anonymized number is used in lieu of a name. There is a true problem with the secrecy requirement.

4th- I received at least 7 solicitations from bar associations to attend parties, fund scholarships, buy tickets to bar events etc before I received their evaluation. That clearly can be seen as a an "appearance of impropriety." Thus, Id bar any association from sending any solicitation to any candidate before that associations findings become public. You can exempt associations to which a candidate was a prior member, but you get where I'm going with this.

I'm sure people smarter than me have better ideas. (This is where policy discourse begins BL who R)

I do love you and your blog Jack. If I offended you, that was not my intent, and I apologize.


Jack Leyhane said...

Lobo – I promise I’m not offended; in fact, I’m grateful for your taking the time and trouble to make a thoughtful response to my request.

I even think some of your suggestions could be adopted without too much controversy. For example, I imagine the screening committees could easily reveal that they considered x applications and personally interviewed y of these.

But I am sure you’ll not make any friends among the bar associations, or at least the JECs of those bar associations, who do not already issue explanations for their ratings. (We can defer to another occasion a discussion of the utility, or accuracy, or the formulaic nature of some of the explanations that are issued.) And I’m sure you won’t make any friends among the executive directors of the bar groups when you try to crimp their fundraising.

I’m really not sure why you harbor such antipathy toward appointing former clerks to judicial posts. In case you’re concerned, I was never a clerk, so I’m not boosting my own cause by disagreeing with you. Rather, it strikes me that reviewing court justices have a significant opportunity to personally observe the thought processes and work habits of their clerks. If some clerks go on to greater success after leaving the justice’s chambers (and most clerk appointments have taken place after some interval after the clerkship has ended), why wouldn’t the justice’s own personal observations of the aspirant be valid and defensible in deciding who to appoint?

Response continues in next comment....

Jack Leyhane said...

Continuing my response to Lobo --

In general, I don't understand how adding more paper to a process makes it more "transparent." To me, it only makes it more difficult.

The number of judicial aspirants is finite (even if it doesn't always seem so) and readily ascertainable. Why, then, are new applications sought each an every time a justice posts a vacancy or an AJ class is announced? Why are the applications for each justice and for AJ all slightly different? Why can't one application be standardized and remain on file for a period of time for any vacancy occurring during that time? Hold the applications for 10 years, say, or 5 -- even two would be an improvement. All a committee really needs is a short statement of interest (please consider me) and a release sufficient to allow the committee to confirm that there are no pending disciplinary or criminal investigations involving the applicant. A committee can easily supplement its dossier on any given hopeful with a Google search.

I'm not sure what your concern is about confidentiality in AJ interviews. But, then, I've never had a judge tell me about what some other applicant said or did during an interview. Perhaps I don't know enough judges -- no, check that, I obviously don't know enough judges.

Lobo, have you personally heard from judges who've told you about what happened during other candidate interviews? Did anyone ever tell you about the time that a well-meaning judge handed me a little paper cup full of water as I was holding forth in response to a committee question? I don't remember which interview this was; there have been a lot of them. Anyway, I accepted the cup gratefully... and promptly proceeded to crush it, spilling water on myself and the table... all the while trying to answer the pending question. I'm not at all certain that my attempt to divert attention from my clumsiness was successful....

Anyway, the problem with transparency in an appointment process, as I see it, is that we can make the process as cumbersome and well-documented as you like... but won't the decision always be personal? It must be in the case of a Supreme Court appointment. I don't know how many on the AJ Nominating Committee really have input into the final short list but---and I suspect your experience may be similar, Lobo---most committees on which I've served seem to have one or two or three real movers and shakers, with the rest more head-nodders. I suspect the movers and shakers have a target group in mind for the short list before the deliberations ever begin. Likewise, I'm sure that the screening committees (or at least their movers and shakers) have some idea of who their justice is interested in for a particular vacancy pretty much from the outset. But no process could illuminate that, could it?

Anyway, Lobo, I'm grateful for your suggestions and I hope you inspire others to contribute, too.