A former Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and current Justice is announcing her retirement.
Justice Rita B. Garman will retire from the Illinois Supreme Court effective July 7th according to an open letter issued today to her court colleagues.
Garman, who maintains offices in Danville, has served as a judge at all levels of the state court system. She first joined the bench in 1974 as a circuit court judge in Vermillion County. She was the first woman to be named a judge in her circuit and one of eight women judges in the state at the time, according to her letter.
According to her website, she was first appointed to the appellate court in 1995 and won election to her seat in 1996. In 2001, she was appointed to fill the seat on the Supreme Court in 2001 before being elected to the high court in 2002. She is also the longest-serving judge in the state.
Garman represents the fourth judicial district on the court, which includes Sangamon County. The current fourth judicial district covers Central Illinois and stretches across the state from east to west.
Last summer, for the first time since district maps were introduced in the state in 1964, the General Assembly redrew new Supreme Court district maps. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed those maps into law last June.
The fourth district, which will have a vacancy following Garman’s departure, still includes Sangamon County, though it is now made up of West Central and Northwest Illinois.