Lisa Holder White to be Appointed the First Black Woman on the Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Justice Lisa Holder White, who currently sits on the Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court, as the first black woman justice. Justice Holder White will replace retiring Justice Rita B. Garman.

In a statement released by the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Holder White, a Republican, said, “Being appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court is the honor of a lifetime. I am humbled by the confidence Justice Rita B. Garman and the entire Court have placed in me. My service to the judiciary for the past 21 years has helped prepare me for this historic moment. I look forward to the privilege of resolving matters my fellow citizens bring before the Court.”

Justice Holder White has served in the judiciary for over 20 years, where she began her career as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Macon County before moving into private practice.

In 2001, Justice Holder White was sworn in as an Associate Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, as the first black judge. In 2008, the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Holder White as a Circuit Judge to fill a retirement vacancy, and she was elected to the position in 2010. In 2013, Justice Holder White was sworn in as the first black justice on the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District. In 2014, Justice Holder White was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District.

One of Justice Holder White’s decisions while on the Court of Appeals was the ruling that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had the authority to set COVID-19 protocols to transfer inmates from county jails to state prisons during the pandemic.

Justice Holder White will fill the seat on July 8, 2022, and will hold the position until December 2, 2024.

Tammy Gibson is an author, re-enactor, and black history traveler. Find her on social media @sankofatravelher.


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