For the Public

Illinois State Bar Association Assembly Approves Judicial Recusal Rule, Supports Same-sex Marriage, Medical Marijuana Bills

Chris Ruys Communications
Chris Ruys
For Immediate Release: 
December 17, 2012

The 203-member policy-making Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) has adopted a proposed rule governing recusal of judges in cases where a party has made a campaign contribution to the judge. The Assembly voted to adopt the rule during the ISBA’s Midyear Meeting on December 15 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers here.

The ISBA will recommend the proposed rule to the Illinois Supreme Court as an amendment to the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct. The proposed rule provides that a judge shall disqualify himself or herself when, after considering all relevant circumstances, there exists a probability of bias. Relevant circumstances include items such as the amount of campaign support, both monetary and non-monetary, and the timing and impact of the support.

At the Midyear Meeting, the Assembly also voted to support the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act pending in the Illinois legislature. The bill provides same-sex and different-sex couples and their children equal access to the status, benefits, protections, rights, and responsibilities of civil marriage.

The ISBA Assembly also endorsed Illinois legislation that would allow patients who suffer from a debilitating medical condition to use and possess small amounts of marijuana if certified to do so by their regular physician.

The 32,000-member ISBA (, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public through a website (, a cable television program (“Illinois Law”), consumer brochures, and distribution of legal information.

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