Sunday, October 19, 2008

Illinois Court Elections - Brief

Just in case you began looking around yesterday's posted links. You may wonder, what is all this about court systems, and do I vote for anything of that nature this year in my area?

If you're from Decatur, no. We have no open seats for either Circuit, Appellate, or Supreme Courts this year. But we do get to vote "Yes or No" to keep some current judges in place.

But if you're from other places in IL, check this voters' map to check on the openings in your area.

Basically, the Circuit courts are our local court systems. Civil and criminal cases by the millions are taken through these local level courts every year. If you live here in Decatur, you're part of Macon County, which is in the 6th Circuit Court. (out of 22) We have like twenty something judges at this level.

If there's an appeal to a decision from a Circuit Court, it goes to one of the states' Appellate Courts, according to which Circuit Court it came from. Macon County belongs to the 4th Appellate Court in Illinois. (out of 5) We have seven of these.

If someone believes an Appellate Court applied the law incorrectly, they can appeal to the IL Supreme Court. The Illinois Supreme Court is the "ultimate authority on interpretation of state laws". Usually, an appeal would have to go through the Appellate courts in order to appear here, but it's not always the case (death sentences, and some civil cases). There are 7 of these Justices, 3 from the largest Appellate District, and 1 from each of the other 4. The one representing our District is currently Rita Garman. Appeals that believe this court has made a ruling against the US Constitution would then go to the federal courts. (where Judges are named/appointed by the Presidential people)

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