Supreme Court Races
There are two Illinois Supreme Court races that, unfortunately, tend to be overlooked, but the results have massive ramifications.
The first race is in the southernmost 37 counties of Illinois. Judge David Overstreet is running against Judge Judy Cates to replace retiring Justice Lloyd Karmeier. Both judges currently serve on the 5th District Appellate Court. Judge Overstreet is supported by the entire business community, including the Illinois Chamber. Judge Cates is the former president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. The Illinois Chamber has been an early financial supporter of Judge Overstreet in his primary and now in the general election campaigns.
Judge Overstreet will be elevated to the Illinois Supreme Court. He won 62% of the vote.
The second race is the non-retention of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. His district includes Will and Kankakee counties and stretches west to the Iowa border. Justice Kilbride is a reliable ally of the Trial Lawyers and has authored several controversial opinions such the 4-3 decision rejecting the Fair Maps Amendment.
If Justice Kilbride is not retained, a successor will be appointed and a partisan race will be on the ballot in 2022. That race could flip the makeup of the court from Democratic to Republican, just in time to hear opposition to the newest legislative map. The map, as many of you already know, is the key to majorities in Springfield and the enactment of policy. The Chamber held a press conference last month to encourage a NO vote.
Voters decided not to retain Justice Kilbride by a margin of 56-43%. He needed 60% to prevail. The 2022 race to replace him, and which will determine the partisan makeup of The Illinois Supreme Court, will be one for the record books. Rest assured the Chamber will remain very involved.