Justice Charles FreemanJustice P. Scott Neville, Jr.
Justice Charles E. Freeman, the first African-American to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court and as Chief Justice, will retire June 14.
Justice Freeman, 84, is the fifth-longest serving justice in Illinois Supreme Court history at 27 years, six months.
The Supreme Court has constitutional authority to fill interim judicial vacancies and has appointed Appellate Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr., to fill Justice Freeman's seat, effective June 15 through Dec. 7, 2020. Justice Neville has been a member of the First District Appellate Court since 2004, and a judge since 2000. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Carl Anthony Walker has been assigned to the First District Appellate Court until further order of the Court. Appellate Court Justice Michael B. Hyman was also reassigned to an Appellate Court seat effective until Dec. 7, 2020.
Born in Richmond, Va., Justice Freeman descended from slaves freed by Quakers before the American Civil War. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University in 1954 and a law degree from the John Marshall Law School in 1962.
He also served as an Illinois assistant attorney general, Cook County assistant state's attorney, and assistant attorney for the County Board of Election Commissioners. He was an arbitrator with the Illinois Industrial Commission and he later served on the Illinois Commerce Commission.