Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0627
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Full Text of HR0627  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Justice Rita B. Garman has been selected to be the
3next Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, continuing
4her remarkable career of service to her community and to the
5people of Illinois; and
6    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman was chosen unanimously by her
7fellow justices to succeed Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride;
8she will become only the second female Chief Justice in the
9history of the Illinois Supreme Court when she begins her
103-year term on October 26, 2013; and
11    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman is a longtime Vermilion County
12resident; she currently lives in Danville; and
13    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman grew up wanting to become a
14lawyer, a goal that was encouraged by her late parents, Dr.
15Sheldon and Ellen Bell; and
16    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman served as valedictorian for
17her graduating class at Oswego High School in Kendall County;
18she was awarded several honors at the University of Illinois,
19where she attended a 6-year Commerce and Law program; and
20    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman received her bachelor's



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1degree in economics with highest honors; she later earned her
2Juris Doctor degree with distinction from the University of
3Iowa College of Law; and
4    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman began her legal career with
5the Vermilion County Legal Aid Society, earning a salary of $90
6per week; she later served as an Assistant Vermilion County
7State's Attorney, trying criminal and juvenile cases; and
8    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman began her judicial career as
9an associate judge in Vermilion County in 1974; she was elected
10to be a circuit judge in the 5th Judicial Circuit in 1986 and
11served as Presiding Circuit judge in Vermilion County from 1987
12to 1998, when she was assigned to the Illinois Appellate Court,
134th District; she was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court
14the following year; and
15    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman was appointed to the Illinois
16Supreme Court in February of 2001; she was later elected to the
17Supreme Court for 10-year terms in 2002 and 2012; and
18    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman has actively participated in
19hundreds of Supreme Court opinions, as well as the Court's
20administration; she was also instrumental in the establishment
21of a Special Court Committee on Child Custody Issues to ensure
22that children's best interests are the primary focus in child



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1custody cases; and
2    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman is the longest-serving female
3judge in the State and will be the first Chief Justice to have
4served in virtually every judicial capacity in Illinois; and
5    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman is a member of the Illinois
6State Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association, the East
7Central Illinois Women's Bar Association, the Central Illinois
8Women's Bar Association, the Vermilion County Bar Association,
9the Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Court, and the Illinois Judges
10Association, which awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award in
112007 and the inaugural Harold Sullivan Award for Judicial
12Excellence in 2011; and
13    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman continues to play an active
14role in her community, participating in a wide variety of
15events and serving as a member of the Danville Rotary Club, a
16director emeritus of the Danville Symphony Orchestra and the
17708 Mental Health Board, and a member of the Board of Directors
18of the University of Illinois Alumni Association; and
19    WHEREAS, Justice Rita Garman and her husband, Gill, have 2
20children and 3 grandchildren; therefore, be it



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2we honor Justice Rita B. Garman for her long and exceptional
3service to the people of Illinois and congratulate her and wish
4her continued success in her new position as Chief Justice of
5the Illinois Supreme Court; and be it further
6    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
7presented to Justice Rita Garman as an expression of our esteem
8and respect.