The president of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Bar Association scolded Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner for his decision to vote "no" on retaining all Cook County judges.
In an open letter posted to his blog Monday, John Litchfield referenced an Election Day photo of Rauner casting his ballot, which revealed how he voted on the judicial side.
"This means you voted not to retain even the stars of the bench, the leaders and stand-outs, the innovators and those working to bring peace and resolution to families in our communities," wrote Litchfield. "Judges, perhaps more so than any of the elected officials in our state, have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of Illinoisans on a daily basis—whether it be petitioners in bankruptcy, divorce court, or child custody, or defendants in criminal cases or eviction proceedings. The issues our judiciary grapples with are deeply personal to the citizens of our state who deserve only the best on the bench."
Litchfield cited "better bar ratings" for this year's crop of judges than in the past.
"Every retention cycle, roughly 20 percent of the Cook County electorate vote 'No' on every judicial candidate up for retention. While an unfortunate reality in our electoral process, our elected leaders should not encourage this action by their own example. It is simply irresponsible to do so," he said, adding that Rauner "could have just not cast votes in those races and pled ignorance."
Rauner's spokesman did not immediately respond to Ward Room's request for comment.