Justice-elect Karmeier to be sworn in

Ann Knef Dec. 2, 2004, 5:05am

Justice-elect Lloyd A. Karmeier

Retiring Illinois Supreme Court Justice Philip J. Rarick will administer the oath of office to justice-elect Lloyd A. Karmeier, when he is sworn into the state's high court during a ceremony at the Supreme Court Building in Springfield Dec. 6.

Karmeier will be wearing the robe last worn by Justice House, who had been a partner in the same Nashville law firm where Karmeier began in private practice, according to an Illinois Supreme Court press release.

"This will, indeed, be a great privilege and a very great honor for me," said Karmeier. "I am humbled by the confidence placed in me, while looking forward to the challenges ahead of me."

Karmeier defeated his Democrat opponent Gordon Maag on Nov. 2 in the costliest state supreme court race in the country. It was also a contentious battle marked by negative ads.

"I have always believed that integrity, honesty, impartiality and a willingness to work are essential qualities for a judge," Karmeier added. "I strongly admire and respect my new colleagues and I look forward to serving with them on behalf of the people of Illinois to help assure the fair administration of justice for all."

Maag, who had served as an appeals court judge in the 5th Judicial Circuit, was not retained in the Nov. 2 general election. The circuit is comprised of the state's 37 southern-most counties.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Ann McMorrow said Karmeier's service will be welcomed.

"He has been a fine jurist and we are confident that he will continue to serve the people of the state of Illinois with distinction," she said.

Karmeier, an Okawville native, graduated from Okawville High School in 1958.

He received a bachelor of science degree in commerce and law in 1962 and his law degree in 1964 from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Following his admission to the bar, Karmeier was appointed as a law clerk to Justice House of the Illinois Supreme Court and also joined the law firm of Hohlt, House, DeMoss & Johnson in Nashville, becoming a partner in 1968.

He also served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge James L. Foreman in 1972-73.

Karmeier was elected and served one term as State's Attorney of Washington County from 1968 to 1972. In 1986, he was elected as a resident Circuit Court in Washington County, and was retained by voters in 1992 and 1998.

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