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Illinois Supreme Court

Leans Pro Government
Total Judgeships: 

7 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

4 Dems - 3 GOP

Springfield, IL


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Respecting the Power of the Retirement Board

Thu, 07/03/2014

The People ex rel Lisa Madigan v. Jon Burge: Burge, a former Chicago police officer, retired and was granted pension benefits by the Retirement Board. Years later, Burge was convicted on a civil rights lawsuit related to his treatment of inmates by officers who were under his command. The Board decided that Burge still has rights to his benefits. The Attorney General, on behalf of the State, filed suit against the Board and Burge on the grounds that his pension should be terminated.


The Supreme Court ruled that the awarding of pensions to state police officers is a "quintessential adjudicative function" of the Board and therefore the decision is in the hands of the Board and needs to be respected. As a result, the Court re-instated the dismissal of the case that had been decided upon in trial court.

Read the full decision here

Teen Nearly Locked Away Until 'Recovery' Takes Place

Thu, 05/22/2014

People of Illinois v. Julianna Bingham: Bingham, a late teen, had a number of minor incidents where she committed aggressive acts towards adults and children related to unwanted physical touching. She was declared a Sexually Dangerous Person and the Director of Illinois Department of Corrections was appointed as her guardian under the instruction that Bingham would be committed "until or unless she is recovered and released." The Appellate Court reversed this sentencing on grounds of lack of evidence.


The Supreme Court of Illinois upheld the ruling of the Appellate Court. The Court based its decision on the fact that the accused crimes of Bingham could not be proved intentional without reasonable doubt and could not be proven to have been done as the result of sexual "arousal or gratification." In addition, Bingham was not convicted of sexual assault or molestation of children and therefore her acts did not warrant the punishment she was sentenced.

Read the full decision here

Fights with the Freedom of Information Act

Thu, 05/22/2014

Larry Nelson v. Kendall County: Nelson, acting in the place of a number of media companies, requested the release of email correspondence between two assistants of the States' attorneys. The offices of the Public Access Counselor and Attorney General denied the request stating the Attorney General's office was exempt under the FOIA. Nelson filed suit stating that the denial of information violates the FOIA. The Circuit Court dismissed the case stating that the Attorney General's office is a judicial branch office and the judicial branch is exempt.


The Illinois Supreme Court vacated the decision of the lower courts, ruling that the Office of the Attorney General is part of the executive branch and therefore is under jurisdiction of the Freedom of Information Act.

Read the full decision here