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Thorner: Illinois’ future could depend on Supreme Court District 2 race



Download-6By Nancy Thorner - 

The newly redrawn 2nd District for the Illinois Supreme Court includes the counties of Lake (19th Circuit), Kane (16th), McHenry (22nd), Kendall and DeKalb (23rd).  By a 1327 vote margin, Mark Curran won the Republican primary to take on Democrat Elizabeth Rochford for the Second District of the Illinois Supreme Court.  
Curran served as the sheriff in Lake County for 12 years (2006-2018) and tried unsuccessfully to take Dick Durbin’s U.S. Senate seat in 2020, but this is by far the most important race of Curran’s career.  In terms of actually making a difference for the average Illinois voter over the long run, Curran winning the Second District of the Illinois Supreme Court, along with a victory by incumbent Republican Judge Michael Burke in the 3rd District, is more important than even a Darren Bailey win for governor.   
Current Illinois Democrat Supreme Court
Illinois has had a Democrat Supreme Court since 1965.  During that time Illinois has had a Republican Governor about 60% of the time (34 out of 57 years). 
The secret to Democrat dominance is the 1970 Constitution that mandates 3 of the Supreme Court Justices be from Cook County.  All the Democrats must do is to win one of the 4 districts outside Cook, and they control the court.   This year, there are two vacancies (2nd and 3rd Districts) and if the Republicans win both, they will control the court for the first time in 58 years.  The 2nd District, for reasons explained later, will be the hardest for the Republicans to win and is likely the key to whether the Democrats can continue to run the Illinois Supreme Court.   

This system of one county controlling 43% of a state supreme court is unique.  Even states that elect their supreme court by districts, like Louisiana, have equal population separate districts.  But it’s even worse than it appears, because in practice the Democrat Illinois Supreme Court, through their supervision of the entire court system, is controlling the entire judicial system down to the local level, including those who will be their “Republican” opponents!
The following practice has developed in Illinois:  “Illinois Supreme Court judges are elected to the state high court on a partisan basis for 10-year terms. When a vacancy occurs as a result of retirement or whatever, the state Supreme Court appoints a replacement until the next election.  This appointment of their own members is unique in the U.S.”
“As the practice has developed, a supreme court judge makes his or her retirement effective just after the final date for filing candidacy petitions has passed.  This means the supreme court makes an interim appointment that is effective for more than two years. The judges defer to the wishes of the retiree as to his/her own successor…the appointee ultimately has to run for election to serve a full 10-year term… but the fortunate appointee runs later with all the trappings of incumbency.”
“…each Illinois supreme court judge is authorized, by the court, to make one or more personal appointments to the appellate bench, without cover of a filling, a retirement or whatever.  For example, ex-supreme court judge Tom Kilbride had appointed Robert Carter to the appellate bench for 15 years straight, without him ever having been elected, until 2020, when the court appointed Kilbride protégé Carter to the supreme court.” 
From a comment to the article above:  “The same thing happens in the Circuit Court of McHenry County. Full judges retire before their terms expire.  Then an Associate judge is elevated to Full Judge status until the next election.  The sitting Full judges then appoint a member of the bar to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of the previous Associate judge to Full judge.  Brownnosers usually get those.  The new Full judge runs for election at the next cycle."
“Lawyers who practice in the county don’t usually run against the Full judge because if they do and lose, they might as well move out of town afterwards. If they win, they would probably be assigned to the worst possible courtroom.”   
After the Democrat Illinois Supreme Court picks the “Republican” judges from the Supreme Court on down to lower courts on the ballot, the Ultraliberal Illinois Bar Association will rubber stamp these appointments by calling them “well qualified” after they kow-tow to the IBA on their “woke” questionnaire
In short, it is very difficult for anyone who isn’t a liberal to break through and become a judge at any level, even if they run with a “Republican” label in the fall. 
Out-of-control Illinois  
Is it any wonder why crime is out of control in Illinois?   It’s not just Kim Foxx type prosecutors that are the problem, it’s also “woke” judges.  And the Illinois Supreme Court certainly reaps the majority of the blame!  You can also add in all the small business issues and out of control government regulations that courts constantly rule on incorrectly.  It’s one big happy family of judges, and their lawyer friends in Illinois, making sure legal insiders have the edge in every legal case. 
It’s not just the four Governors that went to jail and legislators like Mike Madigan, that are corrupt in Illinois. 
According to the Democrat Illinois Supreme Court, it is “unconstitutional” for the Illinois legislature to reduce a single state pension—one reason why the Illinois budget is hopelessly unbalanced despite an ever-increasing percentage of the budget being spent on pensions.  But it is perfectly fine for Pritzker to act as dictator on masks for schools and business lockdowns with no check from the courts.  “Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared Illinois a disaster zone for the 32nd time. When this declaration ends, he will have given himself emergency powers for 895 days – more than two-thirds of his term.” 
Despite the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment, the Illinois Supreme Court can make it difficult for law abiding Illinois residents to have guns.    
“For the second time, Illinois Supreme Court declines to rule on FOID Act.  Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court released a 4-3 decision to decline ruling on whether Illinois’ Firearm Owners Identification Act is unconstitutional.”   
Another issue is no parental notice for a minor girl’s abortion. Parents will have the legal responsibility to take care of any botched abortion, never mind the emotional trauma, but their constitutional rights to at least be notified before an abortion is performed have been trampled on by the Illinois legislature. 
This is an issue that a Republican Supreme Court could rectify.   In short, a Republican Illinois Supreme Court, especially with somebody leading the charge who was not a member of the cozy Illinois legal establishment, could create a political revolution that a Governor Bailey, hobbled by an almost certain Democrat legislature thanks to gerrymandering, could not do.  
As for the 3rd Illinois Supreme Court district, it had no Republican primary because incumbent Michael J. Burke ran, however;  the 2nd was the most intense primary ever for a judicial race.  “Judge Orders 3 Illinois Supreme Court Candidates Returned to Ballot.”  “The judge's ruling also aligns with the recommendations of the election board's hearing officer and general counsel, which were rejected by the board on April 19.”  The Illinois State Election Board had reversed their own initial rules on April 19 of how many signatures were needed to get on the ballot.       
“I know that Judge John Noverini was not behind my challenges," continued Mark Curran.  "My guess is that Dan Shanes, the other candidate in the race, does not want me talking about how his Masonic friends are clearing out the competition on his behalf or how there is no way he is pro-life or pro 2nd Amendment.”
But Judge Daniel Shanes wasn’t through, attacking eventual primary winner Sheriff Mark Curran as a “Democrat”, even though Curran ran as a Republican for Lake County Sheriff in 2010, 2014 and 2018, and for U.S. Senate in 2020 with the full backing of the Republican party in the primary. 
Shanes has still not endorsed Mark Curran, despite Curran's Democrat challenger qualifying as a litmus test liberal with ties to the most corrupt elements of the Cook County Democrat machine employ. 
Curran to face Democrat Elizabeth Rochford
“A Lake County judge (Elizabeth Rochford) who openly boasts of her progressive political stances and ties to prominent Illinois Democrats, will advance to the November general election… in the state’s (Supreme Court) Second Judicial District…”   
Campaign finance records show Rochford contributed $1,500 to Chicago Ald. Edward Burke a couple weeks after federal investigators raided his City Hall offices in late 2018 ahead of filing corruption charges. “He’s a longtime friend of our family” Rochford said. “It was consistent with my previous campaign donations. It wasn’t part of anything that was going on at that time.” 
"Burke was a Chicago police officer during the late 1960s and an outspoken police ally as alderman. Rochford’s father, James Rochford, was the city’s police superintendent for three years during the 1970s.”      
Curran’s record
"Based on initial returns":   As the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Curran ran ahead of Trump in 2020 on a percentage basis in all 5 Counties of the 2nd District of the Illinois Supreme Court.  He ran way ahead of Rauner in Lake County in 2018, losing Sheriff by 157 votes in that terrible year for Republicans.  The two open Supreme Court seats saw the 7 counties of the Illinois Supreme Court 3rd District with a Republican Governor vote 22.65% greater than the Democrats while the 5 counties of the 2nd District saw 16.39% more primary votes for Governor.  The 2nd District Supreme Court Republican Primary had 10.78% more votes than the Democrat primary.  
As a former Federal and State Prosecutor and a Sheriff of the 3rd largest county in the state for 12 years, Mark Curran has a unique background for a voting population that is tired of the out of control crime because of judges more interested in protecting criminals than the average Illinois citizen.   But it’s obvious that both party establishments are afraid of what Curran could uncover and change as an Illinois Supreme Court Justice as part of a Republican majority. 
Like Trump in 2016 and again in 2020, Mark Curran will have to defeat not just the Democrats but also “Republican” insiders, who have made it plain from the start they don’t want Curran to win.   Hopefully, those who are tired of the corrupt Illinois system will realize that Mark Curran's win as an Illinois Supreme Court Justice is the most important result we can have in November and rally to his side.
Screen Shot 2022-08-01 at 2.40.47 PM
Supporters of Mark Curran meet following IL Primary Election
On July 19th, 2022, Rick and Terri Scardino hosted an event at their home in Long Grove.  It was attended by supporters of Mark Curran, most of whom had worked in some capacity on Curran's winning primary election campaign. 
Words of praise were forthcoming from all present who had worked with Mark Curran in the past, with commitments given to work for a Curran win in the November mid-term elections.
Mark Curran gave a well-received talk, during which he also spoke about his reaction on election night to his win.
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Once ILGOP opponents: Judge Noverini, Curran and Noverini's wife Saray


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  1. Even if Bailey wins Governor, the gerrymandered map makes it very unlikely he will have a Republican House, never mind a Republican Illinois Senate where the Democrats are now ahead 41 to 18. In addition, this Supreme Court race is for a 10 year terms, not 4 years as with Governor. It definitely is the biggest political race in my lifetime here in Ill-annoy.

  2. The difference between Curran and Noverini is that when Curran became a Republican, he stayed a Republican. Noverini flip flops between being a Democrat or a Republican depending on how he’s feeling that day.
    That’s why Curran won the primary and Noverini came in third.

  3. Sorry, the idea that Noverini was a Democrat after the Kane County Rinos basically told him that he couldn’t win a a Republican by threatening a primary in a district gerrymandered for a Democrat in 2008 is a bald faced lie. His record after 2008 was conservative and that’s why he won Kane County easily despite the nonstop attacks by Judge Shanes.
    I don’t like Curran’s stand on Sanctuary State, but it comes from his Catholic convictions and those agree with conservatives on everything else. The Lord works in mysterious ways and I bet the voters are tired of liberal judges and his record as a Federal and State Prosecutor and Sheriff will appeal to the average voter tired of crime. He’s a proven vote getter. You can see him answer questions here: https://mchenrycountyblog.com/2022/08/02/jeff-berkowitz-interview-of-republican-illinois-supreme-court-candidate-mark-curran-part-1/

  4. No matter what Illinois loses. Remember Curran is an illegal alien supporter just like so many other “Republicans” in this state. And that is why Illinois will be an ever deeper Blue state as times goes on. We are past the tipping point and are where California was about 15 to 20 years ago.

  5. The spin continues, even after Noverini was outed as a genuine RINO, coming in third with a whopping 21.7% of the vote. Sounds like 78.3% of Republican primary voters wholeheartedly disagreed with your spin tactics.
    Congratulations, I’m sure you’ll tank the Curran campaign as well. Par for the course.