No excitement on area judges
This year politics has left the judiciary behind.
There may be some hot races on the Nov. 6 ballot, but none of them involve judges who serve on the state's circuit, appellate or supreme court in this part of Illinois.
Still, voters are being asked in some cases whether to retain judges and in other cases whether to ratify the candidacy of judicial candidates running without opposition.
It's almost a sure thing the judges running for retention will be retained, but they deserve a comment or two nonetheless.
Up for retention to a second term on the Illinois Supreme Court is Justice Rita Garman of Danville. Garman has been an excellent judge on the state's highest court, a font of common sense and solid judicial ability. She should most definitely be retained.
Other retention races include Fourth District Appellate Court Justice John Turner; Sixth Circuit Judges Dan Flannel of Moultrie County, Michael Carroll of Douglas County and Michael Jones and Jeffrey Ford of Champaign County; and Fifth Circuit Judge Nancy Fahey of Vermilion County. All but Fahey are endorsed for retention.
With respect to Fahey, we are disturbed by the poor ratings she received from lawyers who appear before her, particularly in the areas of temperament, legal ability and impartiality. Those topics pretty much go to the heart of what being a judge is about. If retained, she would do well to take the criticism to heart, consider some of her colleagues' approach to the job and seek to emulate them.
Running without opposition is Fourth District Appellate Court Justice Carol Pope, who currently is filling a vacancy by appointment. Pope has been a fine addition to the court, showing both good judgment and a clear, strong writing style.
Also running without opposition is Macon County Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith, who was also appointed to fill a vacancy. His tenure as a circuit judge has been too brief to evaluate.