Madison County bench waiting for new occupant

Ann Knef Oct. 13, 2005, 12:01pm

Former Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis

Justice Lloyd Karmeier

While there is no timetable for filling the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Madison County Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis, an announcement could be made soon.

Job applicants had until Sept. 20 to submit their intentions, according to a spokesman for the Illinois Supreme Court, Joe Tybor.

"Justice (Lloyd) Karmeier has selected a committee to review," he said. "The committee is going about its business."

Republican Madison County attorneys who have indicated an interest in the judgeship include Don Weber, Steven Stobbs, Ron and Mary Beth Williams.

After serving 16-and-a-half years as a circuit judge, Kardis retired Sept. 2.

The vacancy is the third Karmeier has been faced since winning the Illinois Supreme Court race last year.

Karmeier will submit a name for Kardis' replacement to the Illinois Supreme Court, which traditionally honors the recommendation of the justice in which the vacancy exists. The new Third Circuit judge would have to run for election in November 2006.

The circuit includes Madison and Bond counties.

Stobbs, of Godfrey, is a partner with Stobbs & Sinclair. He is a Madison County Board member and chairs its Judiciary Committee.

Weber is an assistant state's attorney and household name in Madison County. Renowned for his prosecution of child killer Paula Sims--and the coauthor of Precious Victims which details the case--Weber ran unsuccessfully for the Illinois Supreme Court in 1992, losing to Justice Moses Harrison.

Since taking office, Karmeier has formed two other advisory panels to screen judicial applicants for vacancies on the 5th Appellate Court and in the 20th Judicial Circuit.

Belleville attorney Stephen McGlynn, a Republican, was selected to serve as appellate judge in the 5th Judicial Circuit, filling a vacancy left by Judge Clyde Kuehn, whose temporary assignment ended July 7. McGlynn was sworn in July 8.

Stephen L. Spomer, a longtime resident judge of Alexander County in the First Judicial Circuit, was selected to fill another open spot on the appellate court effective July 1, and will continue until further order of the Illinois Supreme Court.

William C. Norton of Sparta, also a Republican, was appointed to fill a vacancy in the 20th Circuit created by the election of Judge James K. Donovan to the Illinois Appellate Court in November. He was sworn in March 7.

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