Supreme Court of Illinois

Illinois Supreme Court

Seal of the Supreme Court of Illinois
Established 1841 (1841)
Country  Illinois
 United States
Location Springfield, Illinois
Coordinates 39°47′53″N 89°39′10″W / 39.797928°N 89.652724°W / 39.797928; -89.652724Coordinates: 39°47′53″N 89°39′10″W / 39.797928°N 89.652724°W / 39.797928; -89.652724
Motto Latin: Audi Alteram Partem
Hear the other side
Composition method Partisan election
Authorized by Illinois Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Judge term length 10 years
Number of positions 7
Website Official website
Chief Justice
Currently Rita B. Garman
Since October 26, 2013 (2013-10-26)
Jurist term ends 2016 (2016)

The Supreme Court of Illinois is the state supreme court of the state of Illinois. The court's authority is granted in Article VI of the current Illinois Constitution, which provides for seven justices elected from the five appellate judicial districts of the state: Three justices from the First District (Cook County) and one from each of the other four districts. Each justice is elected for a term of ten years[1] and the chief justice is elected by the court from its members for a three-year term.


The court has limited original jurisdiction and has final appellate jurisdiction. It has mandatory jurisdiction in capital cases and cases where the constitutionality of laws has been called into question, and discretionary jurisdiction from the Illinois Appellate Court. Along with the state legislature, the court promulgates rules for all state courts. Also, its members have the authority to elevate trial judges to the appellate court on a temporary basis.[2] The court administers professional discipline through the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee and they govern initial licensing through the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar.

The official reporter of the Illinois Supreme Court is Illinois Reports.


Illinois Supreme Court, Springfield, Illinois

While the justices of many states' supreme courts are expected to relocate to the state capital for the duration of their terms of office, the justices of the Illinois Supreme Court continue to reside in their home districts and have chambers in their respective appellate districts (for example, the three First District justices are chambered in the Michael Bilandic Building in Chicago). The justices travel to Springfield to hear oral arguments and deliberate. Accordingly, the Illinois Supreme Courthouse includes temporary apartments for the justices' use while in Springfield.

Current Justices

Name Party Joined Term Ends District Law school attended
Thomas L. Kilbride Democratic 2000 2020 3rd Antioch School of Law
Charles E. Freeman Democratic 1990 2020 1st John Marshall Law School
Robert R. Thomas Republican 2000 2020 2nd Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Mary Jane Theis Democratic 2010 2022 1st University of San Francisco
Rita B. Garman (Chief Justice) Republican 2001 2022 4th University of Iowa College of Law
Lloyd A. Karmeier Republican 2004 2024 5th University of Illinois College of Law
Anne M. Burke Democratic 2006 2018 1st Chicago-Kent College of Law

Previous Justices

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.




See also


  1. "Courts in Illinois". Illinois Supreme Court.
  2. Appellate Court Act (705 ILCS 25/1(d)). Retrieved 2010-04-07.


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