Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier will be sworn in to a second 10-year term during a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 in the courtroom in the Washington County Judicial Center.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Philip J. Rarick of Troy will administer the oath of office.

Voters retained Karmeier on Nov. 4 by a margin of 60.74, having exceeded the minimum threshold for retention by approximately 2,800 votes.

More than $3 million was spent in the retention race. Supporters of Karmeier raised a little more than $1 million in the final weeks of the election in response to a last minute, $2 million negative campaign attack.

Before his own swearing in, Justice Karmeier will give the oath of office to Washington County local elected officials and the county board. Washington County resident Circuit Judge Daniel J. Emge will give opening remarks at the ceremony.

Karmeier will turn 75 on Jan. 12. 

He received a bachelor of science degree in commerce and law in 1962 from the University of Illinois. He obtained his juris doctor degree in 1964 from the University of Illinois College of Law.

After graduating from law school, Karmeier clerked for former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Byron O. House from 1964 to 1968, served as Washington County state's attorney from 1968 to 1972, and clerked for former U.S. District Court Judge James L. Foreman from 1972 to 1973. He also worked in private practice with the firm of Hohlt, House, DeMoss & Johnson from 1964 to 1986.

He was elected as a resident Circuit Judge in Washington County in 1986, and was retained by voters in 1992 and 1998.

Karmeier was elected to the Supreme Court in 2004 following a costly and contentious race against former appellate court judge Gordon Maag. More than $9 million was spent in that race, which continues to hold the record for the most expensive contested supreme court race in the country.

Karmeier serves as Supreme Court liaison to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC); Committee on Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases; and the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board (MCLE). He also serves as Chairperson of the Illinois Courts Commission.


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