SPRINGFIELD-- Illinois Supreme Court Justice Philip Rarick is recommending the appointment of Judge Clyde Kuehn to replace Gordon Maag on the 5th Judicial District Appellate Court.
Voters bounced Maag from the Court on Nov. 2.
Kuehn, a Belleville native, will serve from Dec. 6 until July 7, 2005. Then newly-elected Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier will recommend his replacement who will serve until December 2006.
Karmeier, a Republican, officially replaces Rarick on Dec. 6.
Rarick, Maag and Kuehn are Democrats.
In a written statement, Rarick said that he and Karmeier "conferred" on the matter of who would replace Maag before settling on Kuehn.
Ed Murnane, director of the the Illinois Civil Justice League, said he was "very comfortable" with the court's decision to appoint Judge Kuehn on a short-term basis.
"To the Court's credit, and to Justice Rarick's credit, Justice-elect Karmeier was fully consulted and there will thus not be a vacancy on the Appellate Court at a busy time, nor will there be a 'midnight appointment' of a judge to override the wishes of the voters," Murnane said.
"Obviously, Justice-elect Karmeier would not be able to make a recommendation until after his review panel has completed its work and that would likely be after a period of several months," he added.
A spokesman for the Illinois Supreme Court, Joseph Tybor, said Rarick "continues to help Judge Karmeier with the transition."
On Monday, November 22nd, Rarick plans to show Karmeier around the Supreme Court offices in Springfield and introduce him to staff, Tybor said.
This is Kuehn's third appointment to a judicial post. He was appointed a Circuit Court judge in 1994 and later to the Appellate Court in 1995 and again in 2002, replacing Rarick when he was appointed to replace Justice Moses Harrison on the Illinois Supreme Court.
Kuehn received his BA and law degree from the University of Illinois. He was a prosecutor in St. Clair, Monroe and Perry counties and served as St. Clair County state's attorney from 1976-80.
From 1980 to 1994, Kuehn was in private law practice and also served as a public defender in St. Clair County.