Anne M. Burke Becomes Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court
Justice Anne M. Burke was elected to the office of chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court at the court’s September 2019 Term. She will serve a three-year term commencing Oct. 26, succeeding Lloyd A. Karmeier, whose tenure as Chief Justice ended on Oct. 25, 2019. Chief Justice Burke is the third woman to serve as chief justice, following the late Mary Ann McMorrow and current Justice Rita B. Garman.
As chief justice, Justice Burke will serve as the chief administrative officer of the Supreme Court, which is constitutionally vested with general administrative and supervisory authority over the more than 900 judges in the statewide judicial system.
Among other duties, the chief justice selects the items to be placed on the Supreme Court's agenda for the court’s consideration during its constitutionally-mandated five terms each year; supervises all appointments to Supreme Court committees, serves as chairperson of the executive committee of the constitutionally-mandated Illinois Judicial Conference and presents the court’s annual budget request to the General Assembly.
Chief Justice Burke has set as her key initiative during her term, a “Listening Tour” to be hosted by the Illinois State Bar Association. The tour will consist of Chief Justice Burke, ISBA President David B. Sosin, and others, traveling to multiple districts throughout Illinois to conduct forums where local stakeholders can engage in dialogue about the way justice is administered across the state. The goals of the tour will be to focus attention on the recently released strategic agenda, to foster discussion and to exchange ideas about our system of justice.
The listening tour is expected to kick off in early 2020 and additional details will be available closer to that time.
Justice Burke brings to the office of chief justice a wealth of experience. She was appointed to the Supreme Court on July 6, 2006, and then elected to that office in 2008. In 2018, she was retained for a second 10-year term with 81 percent of the vote. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Burke served as a justice of the Appellate Court, First District. After being appointed in 1995, she was elected to the appellate bench the following year, where she served until July 5, 2006. Her judicial career began earlier, in 1987, with an appointment to the Illinois Court of Claims by Gov. Jim Thompson. She was the first woman to serve on that court and was later reappointed to the position by Gov. Jim Edgar. Before serving in the court of claims, she was appointed by Governor Jim Edgar as special counsel for Child Welfare Services and was a member of his Legislative Committee on Juvenile Justice.
Chief Justice Burke received her bachelor's degree from the DePaul University School for New Learning, where she majored in education. She then attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law and received her Juris Doctorate in 1983. Chief Justice Burke has been recognized with honorary degrees from 13 colleges and universities, including: St. Ambrose University, Catholic Theological Union, DePaul University, College of the Holy Cross, Aurora University, Lewis University, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, MacMurray College, Blackburn College, The John Marshall Law School, Marquette University, St. Mary's College and Dominican University.