There are two judges to be elected this year to the Illinois Appellate Court for the fifth district, for the 37 counties of Southern Illinois. This court has a total of seven judges, five of which are currently Democrats, including two former high profile personal injury or plaintiff’s lawyers, and two Republicans, one of which runs for election this year. Without election of at least one Republican to this court this year, the number will go to 6 to 1.
It was only about 14 years ago that Southern Illinois was in a health care crisis with doctors leaving our area with a court system out of balance. While we need plaintiff’s lawyers, we also need equal consideration for doctors, and businesses, and the jobs they bring. There is reason to believe that a balance of judicial political leanings has a benefit of broader representation, and may be a partial antidote to excess in the court systems that southern Illinois has experienced before.
The four candidates for these two open positions all appear to be good, honest and competent people. But for voters who believe in the benefit of restraint in our courts, which is encouraged by a broader representation of political leanings, the math is clear. Whatever your political party, there is reason to elect two Republicans this year to this court.
Phil Johnson, Litchfield