Name: Heinz Rudolf
Office seeking: For Judge of the Circuit Court 20th Judicial Circuit
Party: Democratic Party
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City of residence: Belleville
Campaign website: www.RudolfForJudge.com
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I believe my service for over the past 12+ years as an Associate Circuit Judge has prepared me well for Circuit Judge. I have presided over a wide range of legal proceedings in both the civil and criminal courts comprising thousands of cases, hundreds of bench trials, and dozens of jury trials. My judicial experience covers the entire spectrum of legal proceedings including major civil, criminal, chancery, arbitration, domestic violence, family, juvenile delinquency, DUI, traffic and small claims. I am one of the highest rated Judges in the State of Illinois according to the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Advisory Poll. I am recommended by area attorneys and I am supported by Republicans, Independents, and Democrats throughout the 20th Judicial Circuit. In short, I believe experience matters and I believe I am uniquely qualified to be your next Circuit Judge.
What is your judicial philosophy? A Circuit Judge is a trial court judge not a legislator. The role of a Circuit Judge is to provide everyone with fair, impartial proceedings based on the rule of law as written by the legislature and as interpreted by the reviewing courts such as the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court. A Circuit Judge is not an activist nor is he/she an advocate for one party or another. Instead, a Circuit Judge is fair and impartial; faithful to the law as written; maintains order and decorum in the courtroom; and, accords every person the right to be heard.
If you were facing a Judicial Inquiry Board investigation would you resign? Why or why not? I have never faced any issues with the Judicial Inquiry Board in my over 12 years of service as an Associate Judge. Integrity, impartiality and temperament are the hallmarks of a qualified and competent Judge. I don’t expect this to be an issue since during my service on the bench there have been no complaints made to the JIB that I am aware of. I strive to uphold these important values every day in my courtroom. I am one of the highest rated Judges in the State according to the most recent Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Advisory Poll. Local attorneys recommend me for Circuit Judge in large part because of my professionalism in the courtroom.
What type of cases would you hope to work on and why? In over 12 years on the bench, I have had the privilege to preside over the entire spectrum of legal cases. As a Judge, my focus is not necessarily on the type of case but how the proceedings are conducted. Every person is entitled to dignified and courteous treatment while in court. I strive to ensure the patient, efficient and professional administration of justice in my courtroom. Furthermore, I expect lawyers, staff, and court officials to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times to ensure the public’s confidence in our legal system.
The St. Clair County judiciary has been the source of some scandal in recent history. St. Clair County Judge Michael Cook, a Democrat, was convicted of heroin possession. St. Clair County Judge Ronald Duebbert, a Republican, faced sex and intimidation charges, but those were dismissed. What would you offer to the voters to ensure that you, if elected, would not bring more scrutiny to the bench? I respectfully offer voters my record of over 12 years of faithful service as an Associate Judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit. I am among the highest rated and most qualified Judges in the State according to the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Judicial Advisory Poll. My 2018 ISBA Judicial Poll rating is 96.7%. Local attorneys find me qualified because they recommended me for Circuit Judge. I have received support from Independents, Republicans, and Democrats across every county of the 20th Judicial Circuit. I have voluntarily submitted to random drug screens for several years.