Vote! – Judges

In Illinois we get to vote for the election and retention of judges (at the end of a six-year term, judges have to get 60% “yes” votes to stay in office). The front page article in this week’s Reader is about how hard it is for judges to be voted out. Even when bar associations and citizens’ groups agree that a judge is terrible or incompetent, voters, most likely daunted by the list of over 80 judges to be voted on, rarely vote “No” on judges.

Do I need to go on and on about how terrible an incompetent judge is? Judges make decisions that affect individuals and their families enormously. And c’mon you rebel, you — what’s more “sticking it the man” than getting rid of a judge?

So don’t be daunted! Vote for Judges consolidates the judicial evaluations from a variety of Chicago and Illinois Bar Associations and they have a sample ballot (70K PDF).

And let me point out that one judge up for retention was dinged by all nine bar groups — Susan McDunn — largely for her fierce and unrelenting (even after being removed from the cases from the presiding judge of her division) opposition to two no-contest adoptions that happened to be by lesbian couples. “McDunn is done” is your handy mnemonic.

So please download that sample ballot, but then read the evaulations and see if you agree with their reasons. Make your own decisions, you American, you. (And then vote “No” on McDunn. Seriously.)

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