New IL Chief Justice takes seat

Oct 28, 2013

The Illinois Supreme Court has a new chief justice.  Rita Garman is the second woman in that role.

Former Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride administers the swearing-in of Rita Garman as the court’s new chief justice during a ceremony in Danville, where Garman began her career. She joined the high Court in 2001 and is currently one of three women to serve on the seven member panel. She says race and gender shouldn’t get in the way of equality in the judicial system.

GARMAN: “I couldn’t have dreamed as a young woman that I would ever end up as a judge, and most certainly not as the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. When I was young and went to school and said I wanted to be a lawyer, people would have thought I was a little strange for making a statement like that.”

Garman says if she’s paved the way for women in the legal profession, it’s only because of efforts before her for gender equality. During her tenure, she says she’ll continue the court’s emphasis on civility, professionalism, and the expanded use of technology to help the public follow court cases.