Endorsement: Howse for Illinois Supreme Court

  • Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse

    Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse

The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted2/26/2020 1:00 AM

All too often, the Illinois Supreme Court justices decide who will join them to fill a vacancy.

On the ostensibly elected seven-member panel, all three of the justices in the First District, which covers Cook County, initially were appointed by their peers, Anne Burke in 2006, Mary Jane Theis in 2010 and P. Scott Neville Jr. in 2018.


They subsequently stand for election, but with the weight of incumbency, invariable primary election slating by the Democratic Party of Cook County -- the entirety of District 1 -- and often no Republican opponents in the general election, the judge is in for a 10-year-term.

We don't think the Supreme Court justices should be able to pick who will sit alongside them, and we don't think the Democratic Party of Cook County should be in the business of naming the judiciary.

For that reason, we refrain from endorsing the appointed and slated candidate, P. Scott Neville Jr.

Neville, of Chicago, is an experienced and capable jurist with top ratings from several bar associations. But he is not the only candidate who warrants such esteem.

Margaret Stanton McBride of Glenview, an appellate justice who previously was presiding judge of Cook County's Third Municipal District in Rolling Meadows, is similarly rated and has won our endorsement in the past.

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Racial diversity is an important consideration on the Supreme Court, which has no minority members other than Neville, who is black. Jesse Reyes, an appellate justice, would be the first Latino Illinois Supreme Court justice, if elected.

Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse of Chicago, an appellate justice also is black. He is well-regarded and known for legal work to keep the Harold Washington Party from being removed from the ballot in Cook County in 1990.

On the appellate court's executive committee, he instituted a rule requiring justices who have cases on their dockets that are older than six months to focus on completing those cases first.

Howse has our endorsement.

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