3 Replies to “Illinois Supreme Court poops on public with Rahm Ruling. Rahm on Ballot!”

  1. Judge to jurors: Please vote for me

    By Frank Main and Abdon M. Pallasch
    Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporters
    Published October 28, 2004

    Cook County Criminal Court Judge Bertina E. Lampkin is proud of the card jurors sent her this year expressing admiration for her talent in running her courtroom at 26th and California.

    So in her campaign to retain her seat on the bench, Lampkin said she sent letters this month to about 100 people who served as jurors in her courtroom.

    “Please tell your family, friends, co-workers and church and community members to support me,” Lampkin wrote, giving her punch number — 239 — and asking jurors to call her at her office and leave a message of “encouragement and support.”

    On Wednesday, legal experts said they were not aware of any laws the 17-year jurist violated with her letter. But some thought she crossed an ethical boundary when she promoted her retention on stationery bearing the “State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County Criminal Division” letterhead.

    Cindi Canary of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform said she never heard of a judge sending a campaign pitch on official letterhead or using a list of former jurors to solicit votes. “I think good judgment says you should make a fire wall between your political activity and your judicial office,” Canary said. “If she were a legislator, this would fall under the state ethics bill that says you can’t use state resources for political purposes.”

    ‘Goes across the line’

    But Canary said the judiciary is exempt from the law because it has its own code of ethics. Experts said they could find no clear violation of the Supreme Court’s canons that govern political activity.

    “I don’t know whether it’s appropriate for Bertina Lampkin to send things out to jurors, but I think it’s entirely inappropriate for her to ask them to call her back and confirm that they are going to support her essentially,” attorney David Melton said. “That to me quite clearly goes across the line.”

    Melton chaired a Chicago Council of Lawyers panel that rated this year’s candidates for judge. Lampkin was recommended by that group and every other one that screened judges seeking retention.

    ‘Cause for concern’

    “The fact that it is sent on letterhead . . . when a former juror receives this, it can almost appear to be an official communication,” said Homero Tristan, president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. “It can be a cause for concern if judges can use the robe, the bench, to electioneer.”

    Neither group expects to change its recommendation to vote “yes” on Lampkin’s retention Tuesday.

    Lampkin, a supervising judge, said she did not understand what the fuss was all about. “I can’t imagine it would violate anything,” she said. “If someone found it offensive, I would be sorry about it.”

    The Chicago Sun-Times obtained a copy of the letter after a former juror received one in the mail and was upset about it. The juror refused to comment.

    “In almost every case I preside over, I get letters from jurors about what a great judge I was,” Lampkin said. “I would be amazed if someone was offended.”

    Lampkin said she paid for the postage, about $40. She also said her secretary typed the letters on Lampkin’s “own time,” and she paid the secretary for the work. Lampkin said judges running for retention met this year to discuss strategy. They were told 15 percent to 20 percent of voters cast a blanket “no” vote for all judges on the ballot.

    “A retention judge needs 60 percent of the vote,” she said, explaining why she felt the need to campaign and send the letters to former jurors. “This is a sad conversation for me,” Lampkin said. “There is always someone trying to hurt you in spite of your accomplishments.”

    Lampkin’s boss, Chief Judge Tim Evans, said he would review the letter to see whether it broke any rules.

    © 2004 Digital Chicago, Inc.

  2. So the people of Chicago get to decide if Rahm should be mayor. Not two Judges who decided to make up law or any of the “circus rejects” who objected in the first place. Chicago 1 Pat O

    Look on the bright side Pat now you will have someone new to blame everything on and to complain about for years to come.

    Viva Rahm

    (Response) You do not get the entire point crap for brains. If you are served shit do you eat it because you are told to? Most of you turds never figure this out.

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