High Court
11:46 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Illinois Supreme Court Expected To Name Rita Garman As Chief Justice

Rita Garman
Justice Rita Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Credit Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court returns from its summer recess next week, and one of the items on the docket could be the announcement of its next chief justice. The court appears ready to name Rita Garman to the post.

Garman would be the second woman to head the Illinois Supreme Court — and in fact, only the second woman to lead one of Illinois' three branches of government.

Based in Danville, Garman has been a lawyer since 1968, a judge since 1974, and on the Supreme Court since 2002.

Unlike on the U.S. Supreme Court, the chief justice of Illinois serves a three-year term. The position usually rotates among the justices based on seniority.

Although the court has yet to formally announce Garman's selection, she would be next in line, and there are other indications.

The Woman's Bar Association of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association have announced receptions honoring Garman's selection as chief. And earlier this year, Garman posed for photographs in the chief justice's seat at the center of the high court bench in Springfield.

A spokesman for the high court says current Chief Justice Thomas Kibride's term is scheduled to end Oct. 25. He says an announcement on the next chief could come during the court's September term.