Share the article: ILGOP Calls for Vote of Non-Retention for Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride

During the most recent State Central Committee meeting of the Illinois Republican Party, the ILGOP voted unanimously to formally recommend a vote of non-retention for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride of the 3rd Judicial District. Justice Kilbride is up for retention on the November 2020 ballot and must meet the 60% retention threshold in order to keep his seat on the Illinois Supreme Court.

The ILGOP recommends removing Kilbride from the bench because of his very close ties to corrupt House Speaker Michael Madigan. In 2010, the last time Kilbride faced retention, Mike Madigan made Kilbride’s retention one of his top political priorities because he knew Kilbride was essential to retaining his power over the Supreme Court.

Chicago Sun-Times: The speaker’s greatest victory, arguably, is the retention of Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. With Madigan’s massive help, Kilbride remains on the bench, maintaining Democrats’ 4-3 majority on the court. That majority will be critical to the party in redistricting the political boundaries of this state.” (“Mr. Speaker, you’ve got work to do,” Editorial, Chicago Sun Times, Nov. 7, 2010)

Chicago Tribune: “And Madigan elected Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride, despite a stop-Kilbride campaign, as the speaker prepares that new political map.” (“Mike Madigan wins big,” Editorial, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 4, 2010)

Chicago Tribune: “Kilbride’s response? He has raised a whopping $2.48 million to save his job. The money is coming largely from the same sources that funded his 2000 campaign: House Speaker Michael Madigan and organized labor. The Madigan-controlled Democratic Party of Illinois has kicked in $1.42 million. (“Kilbride & Madigan,” Editorial, Chicago Tribune, Oct. 27, 2010)

In return for millions in campaign cash from Madigan, Kilbride has reliably voted to protect Madigan’s power and sided with Madigan’s powerful allies. Kilbride ruled against term limits and struck down pension reform in spite of criticism that he took millions of dollars from those with a stake in the decision.

Worst of all, in 2016, Kilbride wrote the majority opinion striking down the citizen-led ballot (“Fair Maps”) initiative that would have given voters a say in redistricting and taken the power away from Madigan to draw gerrymander maps. The decision was all about Madigan, as evidenced from the Chicago Tribune headline immediately following the decision on August 26, 2016: “Supreme Court’s Democratic majority sides with Madigan on redistricting. Surprise!” August 26, 2016.

“Justice Kilbride is a Madigan pawn occupying a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court, and he must be defeated. Kilbride has been elected by Madigan’s millions and has returned the favor, rejecting every good government reform that has appeared on the docket all in service to Madigan’s stranglehold on Illinois politics. The Illinois Republican Party strongly urges a vote of non-retention for Justice Kilbride.” – ILGOP Chairman Tim Schneider


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