Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans recently posted a notice for ten vacancies for the office of associate judge of the Cook County Circuit Court.
While Circuit Judges are elected by the public, Associate Judges are appointed by the Circuit Judges in a selection process conducted by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. Licensed attorneys submit applications for consideration and undergo evaluations by bar associations. A Nominating Committee, which includes Judge Evans and presiding judges of various court divisions, then interviews the applicants and selects finalists.
Under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 39, the Nominating Committee must select twice as many qualified candidates as there are vacancies to be filled; in this case, the Nominating Committee will select 20 candidates from which the Circuit Judges will fill the 10 vacancies. Circuit judges then vote on candidates.
The associate judge positions are due to the resignations of Judges Earl B. Hoffenberg, Carol A. Kipperman, Marcia B. Orr, and Franklin U. Valderrama, the retirements of Associate Judges James N. Karahalios and Richard A. Stevens, and the election to the office of circuit judge of Associate Judges Michael A. Forti, Mary C. Marubio, Celestia L. Mays, and Levander Smith, Jr.
Applications are now being accepted for these vacancies, as well as additional vacancies which may occur during the nomination process. The form and instructions for electronically submitting an application are available on the Supreme Court’s website here. If unable to electronically submit an application, an applicant must submit two (2) signed originals of the prescribed application to the Marcia M. Meis, Director, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 222 North LaSalIe Street, 13th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601. Please note that the application for appointment for office of associate judge was revised on September 17, 2019, and only applications on the revised form will be accepted.
Whether electronically filed, mailed, or hand delivered, all applications must be received in the Administrative Office within 30 days after the date of this notice. If filed electronically, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. If mailed or hand delivered, the deadline is 5 p.m. on that day. A form for application may be obtained from the AOIC or be downloaded from the Supreme Court’s website. Applications submitted via facsimile will not be accepted.
Applicants should be aware that their names will be released to the media to allow public comment on their candidacy and that a bar evaluation may also be requested.