Chicago Bar Association Releases Judicial Evaluation Findings for March 19 Primary Election

The Chicago Bar Association recently released evaluation results for candidates seeking to become a Judge in Cook County, including those seeking a seat on the Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Circuit Court.

The CBA strongly encourages voters to utilize the findings to cast informed votes for judicial candidates who will be on the ballot in the March 19 primary election.  

The Judicial Evaluation findings are available on the CBA’s website at The CBA’s downloadable “Judge Smart Pocket Guide” is available in English, Spanish, and Polish, allowing citizens to take the findings. 

“With 69 judicial candidates on the ballot this primary, it is imperative for each candidate’s qualifications to be accessible to Cook County voters” said Michelle Carey, Chair of the CBA’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. “The CBA’s ‘Judge Smart Pocket Guide’ is a valuable tool to help voters cast smart and informed votes for judicial candidates.”  

The non-partisan evaluations are a comprehensive, peer-to-peer review process conducted as a long-standing public service by the CBA’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. Candidates who submit a questionnaire and participate in the screening process are evaluated based on seven criteria: integrity, legal knowledge, legal ability, professional experience, judicial temperament, diligence, and punctuality.  

Candidates must also participate in a personal interview before members of the evaluation committee. They must receive a 60 percent favorable vote of the hearing panel members to receive a “Qualified” finding and an 80 percent favorable vote to receive a “Highly Qualified” finding. Candidates who receive less than a 60 percent favorable vote receive a “Not Recommended” finding, as do candidates who decline to participate in the evaluation process.  

In the coming March 19, 2024, primary election, there are candidates seeking positions on the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Cook County Circuit Court.  

Supreme Court 

Two candidates are running to fill one open seat on the Illinois Supreme Court. Both were rated “Highly Qualified.”  

Appellate Court

Six candidates are running to fill four open seats on the Illinois Appellate Court. Of the six, five were rated “Highly Qualified,” and one was rated “Qualified.”  

Circuit Court of Cook County 

In addition to the Appellate Court race, there are 61 candidates running for Judge in the Cook County Circuit Court. Of the 61 circuit court candidates running, 56 were screened by the CBA’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. Of those 61, the JEC rated four as “Highly Qualified,” 43 as “Qualified,” thirteen as “Not Recommended,” and one evaluation as pending.  

The thirteen “Not Recommended” candidates include five who declined to participate in the JEC screening process and were found automatically “Not Recommended” pursuant to JEC governing bylaws. The pending evaluation will be finalized next week.  



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