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Justice Kilbride seeks public comment on applicants for 2 judicial vacancies in 9th Circuit

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride is seeking public comment on six attorneys who have applied to fill two vacancies in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancies were created by the announced retirements of Circuit Judge Steven R. Bordner and Chief Judge James B. Stewart. Judge Bordner's retirement took effect August 20, 2015 and Chief Judge Stewart's retirement will take effect October 1, 2015

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Kilbride uses an extensive application, evaluation and interview process to make recommendations to the full Court for judicial vacancies in the Third Judicial District.

The process will now proceed to background checks by law enforcement authorities and with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Justice Kilbride will also use a poll of all attorneys residing in the Ninth Circuit conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association. The attorneys are surveyed on their opinions of the applicants’ integrity, temperament, legal ability, management skills and other professional qualifications.

Justice Kilbride will appoint a judicial screening committee made up of representatives from the community, including non-lawyers as well as members of the legal profession, to evaluate all of the information. The names of the committee members will be announced at a later date.

The attorneys who have applied to fill the vacancies are Patrick C. Egan, Christopher W. Kanthak, Tracey L. Mergener, John T. Pepmeyer, Thomas R. Siegel, all of Galesburg, and Anthony W. Vaupel of Dahinda.

Those wishing to send written comments about the finalists may address them to: Judge Appointment Comments, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 3101 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield, IL 62704. Comments must arrive by September 15, 2015. Comments must include contact information such as name and address, and should be brief, preferably no more than 250 words.

Notice of the vacancies and the appointment process were posted at various courthouses within the Ninth Circuit, which includes Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren counties.

Among qualities an applicant must possess are a demonstrated reputation for integrity and good character; a demonstrated commitment to equal justice under the law; outstanding legal ability and competence; and the appropriate demeanor, character, and personality necessary for the judicial temperament required by a Circuit Court judge.

The persons appointed to fill the vacancies will serve until December 5, 2016 or otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court.

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Chris Bonjean