With Illinois state government strongly controlled by the Democrats — the governor’s office and both houses of the General Assembly — and likely to stay that way, a solid argument can be made that the Illinois Supreme Court could provide a beneficial check against at least some excesses if Republicans held the edge in the number of seats. Frankly, given last year’s outrageous remapping of legislative and congressional districts by the Democrats, we’re sorely tempted by that argument. The high court should have demanded reform, but with a 4-3 Democratic advantage, it did not. That is troubling, and we hope our justices will recognize in the future their duty to rise above politics. In the case of the election for Supreme Court justice from Cook County, however, we as voters need to rise above politics, too. Justice Mary Jane Theis, a Democrat, is rated “highly qualified” by all the major bar associations. She is simply a stronger candidate than Republican Judge James G. Riley, an able jurist but lacking in the long list of credentials that Theis offers the voters. Theis wins our endorsement.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.