A Sangamon County Circuit Court had determined three St. Clair County Circuit Court judges will be allowed to run for re-election rather than retention.
These three judges decided that rather than running for retention in 2016, they would instead announce retirements that would take effect at the end of their terms in December 2016 and run for the vacancies they created in partisan elections in November 2016. Their reason for pulling this clearly outrageous move seems fairly obvious: retention elections require a 60 percent “yes” threshold while partisan elections require only a 50 percent plus one vote margin.
In his ruling, Sangamon County Associated Judge Esteban Sanchez states the judges should stay on the ballot even though their “maneuvers” may seem “unsavory” to the petitioner. Judge Sanchez is right about one thing: these “maneuvers” are indeed “unsavory,” but not just in the eyes of the “petitioner.”
The actions of these judges simply underscores why St. Clair County and neighboring Madison County continue to be ranked among the worst court jurisdictions in the country. The solution is for residents to stand up to the gamesmanship that has made these counties the worst “judicial hellholes” in the country. This November, they just may have that chance.
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Travis Akin, executive director, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch, Marion