In a surprise announcement, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said Monday she is stepping down from the state’s top court effective Nov. 30 — just weeks after a general election with two other seats on the court in play.
The retirement comes a year before her husband, Ald. Ed Burke (14th), is scheduled to stand trial on federal racketeering charges.
“I have been blessed to serve as a Supreme Court Justice for the past 16 years and have loved working with my staff, colleagues and Judicial Branch staff to serve the people of Illinois,” Burke said in a statement. “The past three years as Chief Justice have been a challenging time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am thrilled with the progress made by the Illinois Courts.”
The court is appointing First District Appellate Justice Joy V. Cunningham to fill the vacancy. Cunningham became a Justice of the Appellate Court in 2006. She is a former general counsel to the Northwestern Memorial System and a former associate general counsel for Loyola University of Chicago and Loyola University Health System and previously served as Cook Count Circuit Court judge.
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Ald. Ed Burke is scheduled to go on trial in November of 2023.