New Chief Justice Backs Cameras in Court

By: AP
By: AP

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A new chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court has been sworn in.

   The installation ceremony for Justice Rita Garman took place Monday at Vermilion County Courthouse in Danville. That's where Garman began her career four decades ago as an associate judge.

   She replaces Thomas Kilbride, who resumes his associate justice post. During his three-year term, one of Kilbride's highest profile accomplishments was to allow cameras in some courtrooms.

   After Kilbride swore Garman in Monday, she told assembled jurists, well-wishers and relatives that her swearing in was "one of the most gratifying and uplifting moments" in her life.

   Garman's becomes the 119th chief justice on the court and the second woman to hold the post. Currently, there are a total of three women on the seven-member panel.

 

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Illinois Supreme Court's new chief justice says she fully supports her predecessor's push to open trials to news photographers and electronic media.

Rita Garman made her comments in a phone interview with The Associated Press Monday shortly after she was sworn in at a ceremony in her hometown of Danville.

The 69-year-old replaces Thomas Kilbride. His highest profile policy was launching a pilot program two years ago permitting cameras in select courtrooms.

Asked in the interview if she backs the pilot program, Garman responded, "I certainly do -- wholeheartedly." And she added she didn't see Illinois ever going back to a blanket prohibition on courtroom cameras.

Dozens of counties are already participating. And Garman said she hopes the state's most populous county, Cook, will begin participating soon.


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