Share the article: ICYMI: O’Brien “Makes Baseless Claim” About Burke’s Abortion Position

Madigan Machine Judge Mary K. O’Brien is misrepresenting Illinois Supreme Court Justice Michael Burke in a negative TV ad regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned the Roe v. Wade abortion decision. O’Brien offered no proof or citation for her misleading claims, and now one media outlet has called O’Brien’s false claims “baseless.”

From Patrick Pfingsten of The Illinoize:

Appellate Court Justice and Democratic Illinois Supreme Court candidate Mary K. O’Brien released a new ad Tuesday that makes a baseless claim about the political positions of her Republican opponent, incumbent Justice Michael Burke.

The :30 ad claims Burke, who has served on the Supreme Court since his appointment in 2020, “says he agreed with the decision to overturn Roe” while superimposing “Supports overturning Roe” on the screen.

The claim does not come with a citation, so we asked the O’Brien campaign Tuesday to cite their source. A spokesperson provided the link to a public access TV interview with Burke from July.

In the interview, Burke never claims he supports or agrees with the decision to overturn Roe.

“Running for judicial office…I have to be very circumspect about what I say in a public forum like this as far as my personal beliefs as they relate to issues that may appear before us on the Court,” Burke says in the interview, specifically avoiding stating his personal feelings. “Whether I would have voted for it, or whether I would have signed it as a Governor doesn’t matter.”

…One Republican insider we spoke to Tuesday was apoplectic after we sent them the ad, stating O’Brien is “lying in an unprecedented way for a judicial candidate.”

The Illinois Republican Party denounced the ad Wednesday morning.

“It’s unsurprising that Madigan Machine Judge Mary K. O’Brien is resorting to misleading attacks against Justice Michael Burke so close to Election Day. As someone who cut her teeth as a Madigan loyalist in the General Assembly, O’Brien seems to be following the Madigan playbook. We call on O’Brien to take down her misleading TV ad and apologize for running a smear campaign against Justice Burke,” said Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Shaun McCabe.

Judge Mary Kay O’Brien’s deep ties to the Madigan Machine are well known. O’Brien was appointed as an Appellate Court Justice during her final year in the Illinois General Assembly after voting with Madigan 93.6% of the time. O’Brien also “Helped Madigan Regain The Speakership,” and received over $200,000 in political contributions from political groups led by Madigan over the course of her career.


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