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Judging the Judges

Chicago Appleseed Fund For Justice Aims To Educate Illinois Voters On This Year's Judicial Candidates Running For Re-Election With Campaign, a program run by Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, is a non-partisan group dedicated to providing voter education for the upcoming judicial elections. On November 4, voters will be asked to decide whether or not over 70 judges running for re-election should remain on the bench. makes it easier than ever to educate yourself on the qualifications of these judges by providing voters with over a dozen different bar associations' evaluations and recommendations, as well as the recommendations from newspapers and other publications.

Judges have a profound impact on all of our lives. Every day they make important decisions on fundamental issues such as education, housing, health care, divorce, and custody hearings. Since judges make fundamental decisions ranging from personal matters to broader social issues, it's vital that the public elects judges that are qualified and free from political and economic influence. Unfortunately, many voters don't know anything about the prospective judges running for retention. Some voters will simply guess or make partisan-based decisions.

Therefore, wants voters to know that on November 4, they have the power to ensure that only qualified judges are retained to make decisions that will affect them, their families and their communities. By visiting the site, voters can review and download the non-partisan evaluations and recommendations provided by over a dozen bar associations, newspapers, and other publications.

Evaluations of the candidates were based on a variety of factors including: Fairness, legal competence, integrity, knowledge of the law, judicial temperament, impartiality and professional conduct. No consideration was given for political affiliation.

"It's vital to the health of our judicial system that the voting public elects only qualified judges," noted Malcolm Rich, Executive Director of Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. "By taking just 15 minutes out of their day to review the information provided on the website, voters can be confident that they are making an informed decision in the ballot booth. " provides voters with the following information:

* Non-partisan, judicial evaluation and recommendation results from the members of the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, the Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Council of Lawyers, and the North Suburban Bar Coalition.

* Sample ballot from the Committee to Elect Qualified Judges that can be taken into polling booths.

* Judicial evaluation charts & information on the individual candidates.

* Information and recommendations from newspapers and other publications.

Vote smart! Educate yourself before you vote. Visit for more information.


Posted on October 23, 2008

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