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Rita Garman

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Rita Garman
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Current Court Information:
Illinois Supreme Court
Title:   Chief Justice
Position:   Retention election
Salary:  $
Active:   2001-2022
Chief:   2013-Present
Past position:   Judge, Illinois Appellate Court
Past term:   1995-2001
Past position 2:   Judge, Fifth Judicial Circuit Court
Past term 2:   1986-1995
Personal History
Born:   1943
Party:   Republican
Undergraduate:   University of Illinois, 1965
Law School:   University of Iowa College of Law, 1968
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
State:  Illinois
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  November 6, 2012
Retention vote:  389,891
Retention vote %:  82.8% ApprovedA

Rita B. Garman is the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court in 2001 and retained for full terms in 2002 and 2012. Garman's current term will expire in 2022.[1][2] Garman's three-year term as Chief Justice began on October 26, 2013 when she was elected by the other justices to fill the vacancy left by the retiring Thomas L. Kilbride.

Garman is the longest-serving woman judge in Illinois, and the second woman in Illinois to be chief justice. She is the first chief justice to have served in virtually every judicial capacity: associate judge, circuit judge, presiding circuit judge, appellate justice, presiding appellate justice, Supreme Court justice and chief justice.[3]


Garman received her B.S. degree in economics from the University of Illinois in 1965 and her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1968.[4]

In law school Garman recalls being admonished for taking up the law school space of a man, where professors told her, "You know you'll never practice law. You're just here to catch a husband."[3]


Awards and associations

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Illinois Judges Association
  • Harold Sullivan Award for Judicial Excellence
  • Member, Vermillion County Bar Association
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member, Iowa State Bar Association
  • Member, East Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association
  • Member, Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association
  • Member, Illinois Judges Association
  • Member, Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Court
  • Director emeritus, Danville Symphony Orchestra
  • Board of Directors, University of Illinois Alumni Association[3]



See also: Illinois judicial elections, 2012

Garman was retained in the 2012 election with 82.8% of the vote.[1][5][6]

Political outlook

See also: Political outlook of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Garman received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.44, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is more conservative than the average CF score of -0.31 that justices received in Illinois. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[7]

See also

External links


IllinoisIllinois Supreme CourtIllinois Appellate CourtIllinois Circuit CourtUnited States District Court for the Central District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Southern District of IllinoisUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitIllinois countiesIllinois judicial newsIllinois judicial electionsJudicial selection in IllinoisIllinoisTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg