All of the hotly contested political races and heated campaigns culminated yesterday as Illinoisans throughout the state went to the polls to help select leaders at the local, state, and federal levels.
One race of particular importance for those who care about the rights of medical victims and the preservation of an impartial justice system involved the retention of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. We had previously posted on the unfair smear campaign being waged against the judge by a few special interest groups seeking to cut-off many patients’ access to justice following medical mistakes.
Millions of dollars were poured into the smear campaign the past few months in an attempt to depict Justice Kilbride as a shill for violent criminals, including rapists and murders. The extreme distortion in the ads provoked a clear backlash among judges, lawyers, legal thinkers, police officers, and all moderate thinking citizens concerned with the truth and fairness.
Fortunately, the voters of Illinois were not fooled by the bad-faith attempt to remove a justice who had the courage to follow the law in the face of corporate opposition. The Chicago Tribune reports that Justice Kilbride appears to have received nearly 65% of the vote-he needed 60% to be retained as a member of the high court.
The result means that the citizens of Illinois will keep a justice who has a track record of respecting the state Constitution-someone who understands that all victims of negligence deserve equal access to the court system, no matter how much money they have or how many powerful friends they know.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys applaud Illinois voters for their logical, fair decision to retain Justice Kilbride.