The Bar News

Chief Justice Garman forms judicial screening committee to fill 6th Circuit vacancy

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman announced today the formation of a judicial screening committee for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

The screening committee was formed for the purpose of assessing the qualifications of those persons who have applied for appointment to the Office of Judge of the Circuit Court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Arnold F. Blockman on September 16, 2016. Under the Illinois Constitution, the vacancy will be filled by Supreme Court appointment.

After the committee has received public input, gathered information, and interviewed each of the applicants, it will report its findings to the Illinois Supreme Court, which will make the appointment from among those applicants who have been screened by the committee. The person appointed will serve as a judge of the Circuit Court until the general election to be held in November 2018.

The screening committee consists of seven persons who reside in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Four of the committee members are non-lawyers and three are lawyers.

The non-lawyer members of the committee include Sam Banks, director of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club, Dr. Lawrence Jeckel, Mary McGrath of Cozad Asset Management, and Tom Ramage, president of Parkland College, all of Champaign.

The lawyer members of the committee include Retired Judge Kitty McCarthy of Decatur, attorney Lott Thomas of Champaign, and attorney Suzanne Jennings Wells of Monticello.
Mary McGrath will serve as Chairperson of the Committee.

Applicants who are to be considered for appointment to the judgeship, and will be screened by the committee are: attorneys Sami Anderson of Champaign, Andrew J. Hatch of Champaign, Cheralyn Kesler of Urbana, Ramona Sullivan of Urbana, and Shig W. Yasunaga of Champaign, and Associate Judge Roger Webber of Monticello.

Members of the public are invited to submit comments concerning the applicants by writing to the Sixth Judicial Screening Committee, c/o President’s Office, Parkland College, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, IL 61821, or by emailing

Comments should be received by the committee before April 22, 2016. All comments will be held in the strictest confidence by the committee and the Court.

The Sixth Judicial Circuit includes Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie, and Piatt counties.

Posted on April 8, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

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