This column originally appeared in the Chicago Journal.
Hey bud, would you like to buy a judge? Judges in Illinois can be bought by cash or votes.
The Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Cook County buys judges with the promise of votes, naming them to the party’s official slate in exchange for implicit support. The key phrase at the slating session of prospective judges is “I am a lifelong Democrat,” which is code for saying, I’ll decide cases when I can the way the party wants.
Terry Lavin, a current slated candidate, put his credentials for judge at the slating session this way: “I have been a loyal Democrat. I voted in each of the Democratic primaries [of the] last twenty years. I helped the Speaker [Illinois House…
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