The Illinois Supreme Court has unanimously selected a replacement for Justice Thomas Kilbride who was not retained in the General Election last week. Kilbride did not receive the 60% of the vote required for retention.
In a press release from the court this afternoon, Justice Robert L. Carter of the 3rd District Appellate Court has been selected to join the Illinois Supreme Court next month, pending the Illinois State Board of Elections proclaiming the results of the November 3rd election.
The appointment of Justice Carter is effective December 8th and terminates December 5th, 2022, when the seat will be filled by the 2022 General Election. Chief Justice Anne Burke said Carter’s selection was a unanimous 6-0 vote with Kilbride not participating. Carter says he will not seek election to the seat in 2022 and will effectively retire from the bench. Carter says it’s a full circle moment for him, as he started his career in law as a clerk under then-Justice Howard C. Ryan from 1974-1975 prior to entering private law practice.
The 74-year-old Carter is from Ottawa and has been a judge since 1979 and was assigned to the 3rd District Appellate Court on September 1, 2006. He was elected Circuit Judge in 1988 and became Chief Judge in 1993. In December 2002, Justice Carter was elected Chair of the Conference of Chief Judges and re-elected in 2003 and 2005.
Carter was first elected as a Democrat and likely maintains the liberal majority on the Illinois Supreme Court for the next two years.