Picking a governor and a set of lawmakers to represent us in the halls of Congress and the statehouse is the primary responsibility of voters on Election Day, but it's not the only choice we face. We've already run through the basics of a gubernatorial recall amendment, which may itself be unconstitutional. Citizens will also decide to elect (or retain) dozens of judges.
If you need help figuring out who is worthy of your support in Cook County, you'd be wise to check out Vote For Judges, a web project created by the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice that aggregates scorecards put out by various bar associations and the city's two major newspapers. The Chicago Reporter's Megan Cottrell highlights a few of the legal officials who don't have solid reputations across the region. (So did WBEZ' Sam Hudzik.) One looks especially problematic for progressive voters:
Susan J. McDunn - According to the Tribune, McDunn tried to sidetrack two adoptions by lesbian parents, using her personal beliefs as guidance, rather than the law. The Chicago Council of Lawyers says, "Many lawyers believe she has difficulty handling complex matters that come before her and that she demonstrates an inappropriate temperament." Again, all five groups did not recommend her.
The season's most intense retention battle is taking place just south of Chicago in Illinois' Third Supreme Court District, where Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride is fighting to keep his job. (We've previously written about the race here.) The Democrat has raised roughly $2.5 million in his bid, decidedly more than his major opponents. The outcome of the race will have an impact statewide, potentially during next year's redistricting process. Currently, Kilbride's party holds a 4-3 advantage on the court.