The Fifth Judicial District of Illinois
Illinois’ Supreme Court consists of seven members elected
from five districts for ten year terms. Six of the seats were filled
in the 2000 and 2002 elections, two by retention and four by election.
In 2004, only one seat, from the Fifth Judicial District, will be
on the ballot.
The Fifth Judicial District covers southern Illinois from East
St. Louis in the West to Lawrenceville in the East, and from Taylorville
to the North south to Cairo. It includes the First, Second, Third,
Fourth, and Twentieth Circuit Courts, and these 37 counties: Alexander,
Bond, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette,
Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson
Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Montgomery,
Pope, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph Richland, St. Clair, Saline, Shelby,
Union, Wabash, Washington Wayne, White, and Williamson.
Prior to 2004, the Fifth District's last has not seen a contested
Supreme Court election was in 1992, when Democrat Moses Harrison
defeated Republican Don Weber with 60.4% of the vote. In 2002, Justice
Harrison declined to seek retention, but his decision came too late
to put the seat on the ballot for a full election. Justice Philip
J Rarick was appointed to fill the vacancy; he announced in 2003
that he would not seek a full term on the bench.
The candidates were:
Lloyd Karmeier, Republican, is 63 years
old. He was a judge of the 20th Circuit Court, which is in the Metro
East area. Karmeier is from Nashville, Illinois, in Washington County,
where he was first elected to the Circuit Court in 1986 without
opposition. He won retention circuit-wide in 1992 with 72.48% of
the vote and in 1998 with 76.03% of the vote. As he would have faced
retention in 2004; he gave up his seat on the Circuit Court to run
for the Supreme Court. Prior to serving on the bench, he clerked
for Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Byron House from 1964 to
1968, and he served as Washington County State’s Attorney
from 1968 to 1972.
Gordon Maag, Democrat, is 52 years old.
He was a judge of the 5th District Appellate Court before he ran
for Supreme Court. Prior to that, he was an appointed judge of the
3rd Circuit Court, which is in the Metro East area. Maag is from
Glen Carbon, in Madison County. He was appointed to the 3rd Circuit
Court in 1989. He was then appointed to the 5th District Appellate
Court in 1992. He ran for a full term on the Appellate Court in
1994 and was elected without opposition. Prior to serving on the
bench, he worked for Walker and Williams, a Belleville law firm
representing defendants in personal injury cases; and Lakin and
Hendron, a Wood River firm now known as The Lakin Law Firm, which
represents plaintiffs in personal injury cases.
Do you know who contributed the nearly $9 million to the two candidates for Illinois Supreme Court on the ballot in November 2004?!
To read ICPR's disclosure complaint against the Coalition for Jobs,
Growth and Prosperity click
ICPR settles disclosure complaint with the Justice for All Foundation.
to read about it.