One hundred Cook County judicial candidates are running in Tuesday's primary countywide and in 15 subcircuits.
For many voters, the prospect of selecting among judicial candidates is daunting. The Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, in cooperation with local bar associations, makes the task easier, providing recommendations based on evaluations of circuit court candidates.
The recommendations are available at VoteForJudges.org. The website compiles information from 12 bar associations known collectively as the Alliance of Bar Assocations, whose members review candidates jointly but issue their recommendations individually.
Bar association representatives evaluate candidates on legal ability, integrity, impartiality, court management, temperament and sensitivity to diversity and bias. They rate candidates as highly qualified, well qualified, qualified and not qualified or as highly recommended, recommended and not recommended. Candidates who did not participate in the screening process are rated as not recommended.
The Alliance consists of the Asian-American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area; Black Women Lawyer's Association of Greater Chicago; Chicago Council of Lawyers; Cook County Bar Association; Decalogue Society of Lawyers; Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois; Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois; Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago; Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.
The Illinois State Bar Association, whose 30,000 members make it the state's largest, is also an Alliance member. The ISBA provides narrative descriptions of candidates at isba.org.
The Chicago Bar Association, the state's second largest with about 22,000 members, also evaluates judicial candidates. Its evaluations are available at chicagobar.org.
The complete list of Alliance recommendations, in ballot order, is available online at voteforjudges.org. Voters can print out the recommendations and take them into the voting booth.