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How corporate money failed to deter the retention of Illinois Justice Kilbride

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride was recently retained after a heavy corporate press to vote “no” during Justice Kilbride’s election for retention. The judge’s only “sin” was siding with the Illinois court’s majority in striking down an unconstitutional “cap” on compensation for victims of Illinois medical malpractice. That one act against the so-called “tort reform” advocates provided the impetus for an onslaught of sleazy, inaccurate “anti-crime” ads run against him funded by state and national corporate-backed tort reform groups. The Chicago Tribune reported that Justice Kilbride was portrayed as soft on crime in visceral radio ads that featured actors portraying rapists and murderers. The campaign may have had an opposite effect – it prompted a backlash from other judges, lawyers, and legal scholars who pointed out Kilbride’s opinions were based on legal procedures and points of law. Justice Kilbride was endorsed by the Illinois State Fraternal Order of Police and the Illinois and National Rifle Associations. The Illinois State Bar condemned the attacks on Justice Kilbride.

The campaign focused on what Justice Kilbride referred to as “gross distortions” of his judicial record. The focused and acknowledged aim of the “Illinois Civil Justice League” was to dump ajudge that they saw as unwilling to stop large jury medical malpractice lawsuit and Illinois negligence lawsuit awards given to plaintiffs. Justice Kilbride was retained; the negative attacks were unsuccessful. This will not stop the “Illinois Civil Justice League.” The League president announced that they will continue to try and unseat judges they view as opposed to jury award limits.

Follow the link to to read more about the failed attempt to unseat Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride.