Cook County Circuit Court Judges

Since 1848, Illinois judges have been chosen through partisan elections. Around one-third of Cook County circuit judges are elected countywide. The other two-thirds of judicial seats are distributed between 20 geographic subcircuits. Only candidates who live in that subcircuit can run for an open seat and only voters who live there can vote for them. Once elected, all Illinois judges will run for “retention” in the general election, which means they don’t face challengers after six years. Voters choose yes or no, and the judge has to get 60% yes votes to remain on the bench.

Candidates

Navigating judicial ratings can be daunting. To help voters elect and retain qualified judges, 13 local and state bar associations have comprehensively reviewed and assessed judicial candidates in a nonpartisan manner. WTTW News simplified those evaluations to help you make informed decisions at the polls.

In the below tables, we condensed the ratings to note whether candidates were unanimously determined to be qualified, unanimously determined to be unqualified or received mixed ratings. The associations take a variety of approaches to rating descriptions. Hover/tap an icon to see the exact ratings from each bar association with their own rating designations noted.

Countywide

Vacancy of the Hon. James P. Flannery, Jr. (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Chelsey Renece RobinsonMixedNot Evaluated Through No Fault of the CandidateQualifiedNot Evaluated Through No Fault of the CandidateRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedNot QualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Pablo F. deCastroQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Vincent Gaughan (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Corrine C. HeggieQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedHighly QualifiedQualifiedHighly RecommendedRecommendedHighly Recommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Catherine Haberkorn (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Sarah JohnsonQualifiedRecommendedNot Evaluated Through No Fault of the CandidateRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedHighly Recommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Arnette Hubbard (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Deidre M. DyerQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedHighly RecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Marcia Maras (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Arlene Y. Coleman-RomeoQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedHighly RecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Raymond W. Mitchell (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Neil CohenQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedHighly RecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Wende WilliamsNot QualifiedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot RecommendedNot Recommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Timothy P. Murphy (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Edward Joseph UnderhillQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Lori Ann RoperMixedRecommendedRecommendedNot Evaluated Through No Fault of the CandidateRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedNot RecommendedQualifiedNot RecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Lorna Propes (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Debjani “Deb” DesaiQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedWell QualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedHighly QualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Russ HartiganQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedWell QualifiedRecommendedHighly RecommendedRecommendedRecommendedHighly QualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Vacancy of the Hon. William Raines (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Jennifer Patricia CallahanQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Laura M. Sullivan (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
James S. Murphy-AguiluQualifiedRecommendedNot Evaluated Through No Fault of the CandidateRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Vacancy of the Hon. Debra B. Walker (all ballots)
Association
Judge OverallJudicial candidates are rated by the Alliance members based on detailed information supplied by candidates, a background check by trained lawyers/investigators, and interviews of each candidate. Ratings reflect the Alliance’s opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates’ abilities as lawyers or judges. AABARArab American Bar Association AABAAsian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area BMLABlack Men Lawyers’ Association BWLABlack Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago CCLChicago Council of Lawyers CCBACook County Bar Association DSLDecalogue Society of Lawyers HBAHellenic Bar Association of Illinois HLAIHispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ISBAIllinois State Bar Association LAGBACChicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association PRBAPuerto Rican Bar Association WBAIWomen’s Bar Association of Illinois
Chloe Georgina PedersenQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedQualifiedQualifiedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
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