Candidate profile: Mark Rabe

Name: Mark D. Rabe

Office seeking: Third Circuit Judge (Crowder Vacancy)

Party: Republican

Age: 62

City of residence: Edwardsville

Campaign website: www.electrabejudge.org

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I believe that the strength of our democracy lies in our diversity. By diversity I mean more than traditional measures of diversity such as race, sex, age and religion; I also mean diversity of experience, diversity of thought and diversity of perception. In my 32 year legal career, the last 21 of which were as an in-house executive lawyer for Boeing, I did not practice extensively in Illinois. Instead, I have represented clients in or managed litigation in over dozens of state and federal courts and hearing boards, and in four foreign countries. I have also negotiated hundreds of contracts and resolved dozens of contract disputes before the disputes went to court. While I possess an expertise in contract law, I have also practiced in criminal, administrative, corporate and securities law, and have extensive experience in all aspects of litigation, including paying the bills. The perspective one gets on the judicial system when paying a lawyer’s bill should not be underestimated. It is this diverse experience that I believe qualifies me to be a Judge. A vote for me brings a different perspective to the Court, a perspective that I believe would enhance our judicial system.

What is your judicial philosophy? I believe that the purpose of a representative government is to maximize freedom for its citizens; I also believe that substantive freedom does not exist in the absence of equal access to justice. Justice, by its very nature, cannot exist without guiding principles on which the society has agreed. These principles are supplied by the legislature and implemented by the executive. The courts proper role then is to interpret the constitutions and laws, rather than attempting to fashion societal solutions from the bench. I am a strong believer in civil liberties and believe that each person deserves equal treatment from the courts, irrespective of race, age, sex, national origin or economic resources. I believe that this philosophy best serves individual freedom.

If you were facing a Judicial Inquiry Board investigation, would you resign? Why or why not? There are too many unanswered questions behind this hypothetical for me to give a simple yes or no answer. If you are asking whether I would resign if I am accused of using illegal drugs that I stole from the court’s evidence room, then the answer is no, I would not resign, because I do not engage in that conduct and would expect to be exonerated. If you are asking whether I would resign if a Judicial Inquiry Board was investigating my conduct that I believe was moral, lawful, ethical and proper, then the answer is no, I would not resign, because I would fight for what I believe to be right. If I ever engage in immoral, unethical or illegal conduct, then, yes, I would resign.

What types of cases would you hope to work on and why? The Chief Judge of the Circuit makes those decisions. I have an expertise in contract and regulatory law, so I believe I would enjoy cases related to contract or regulation disputes most. However, I would serve in any capacity appropriate for a Circuit Judge.

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 could you offer to the voters to ensure that you, if elected, would not bring more scrutiny to the bench? I have nothing to offer but the life I have lived. I have survived flunking out of college, working 48 or more hours a week at a coal mine while enrolled as a full time student at SIU, being laid off, being injured at work, surviving a 111 day contract strike, and numerous other travails of modern life. I have not engaged in questionable conduct in the past 62 years or my life, and don’t reasonably expect that being elected Judge will cause me to do so in the next six years.