The Bar News

Illinois Supreme Court invites governor, legislators to special evening session

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have invited Gov. Bruce Rauner and the entire state legislature to attend a special evening session of oral arguments.

The session will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Supreme Court Building in Springfield and will mark the second special evening session the Supreme Court has held in recent years.

"In March 2015, the Supreme Court held its first evening oral argument in well over a century. This presented a wonderful opportunity for the executive branch and members of the legislature to observe the Court in session," Chief Justice Garman said in an invitation to the governor, legislative leaders, and members of the Illinois General Assembly. "Given the success of last year's event, we are looking forward to hosting you and your colleagues again this year."

The Court will hear arguments in People v. James Cherry, a case out of the Fifth District that involves the state's armed violence statute.

In People v. Cherry, the defendant was found guilty by a jury of one count of armed violence and one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. The appellate court vacated the defendant's conviction for armed violence, finding that the plain language of the armed violence statute prohibits predicating armed violence on any part of the aggravated battery statute. The State appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The appellate court ruling, which provides a summary of the case, can be viewed on the Court's website at

Chief Justice Garman said the Supreme Court looks forward to hosting the special evening session, which will be followed by a reception, and offering the governor and legislature "a window into the work that the Court performs for the people we all serve."

Posted on May 3, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Member Comments (3)

I must commend the court on starting what looks like a new tradition. This can only help develop a better understanding of justice and build some much needed respect.

Thanks to the Chief Justice and Court for starting this excellent program. Nothing makes one appreciate the professionalism of the Illinois Supreme Court more than retiring and moving to another state.

The idea of holding sessions at night, or at locations other than in Chicago or Springfield (i.e. high schools and colleges) is a great one. It will allow many more people to view the court proceedings and develop a good impression of our system.

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