Belleville attorney Steve McGlynn, 48, will be sworn in as 20th Circuit Judge at the St. Clair County courthouse at 2 p.m. Friday by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier.
Karmeier recommended McGlynn's appointment to fill the vacancy created by former Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley who retired at the end of July.
McGlynn, who will be the sole Republican on the bench in St. Clair County, said on Thursday that he has been "warmly" welcomed by his soon-to-be fellow judges.
"They couldn't have been nicer," he said.
McGlynn had previously served as an appellate justice of the Fifth District Appellate Court. He was appointed in 2005 to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Clyde Kuehn. He was then defeated in an election in November 2006 by Bruce Stewart of Harrisburg.
In a phone interview, McGlynn said he believed his experience as an appellate court judge provided an edge in his application for the job.
"It was excellent experience getting to analyze closely the work of judges," he said. "That experience is valuable."
He said initially he would be assigned to the court's Chancery division, which includes foreclosure, requests for injunction and election challenge cases.
"I am looking forward to it," he said. "There are a wide range of cases (in Chancery). It's a challenge from a legal perspective."
He said that by the end of the year, a number of personnel changes will be taking place on the court—State's Attorney Robert Haida will succeed the retiring Circuit Judge Patrick Young. Associate Judge Michael Cook will fill the vacancy of retiring Circuit Judge Annette Eckert as of Oct. 1; and there will be an associate judge appointment to fill Cook's current position. McGlynn indicated his assignment to the Chancery division could change as well.
McGlynn said he believes his chances for election will be better in 2012, than they were in 2006 where he ran in an appellate court district comprised of 37 counties. In his election for circuit judge, he will be running at large in five counties: St. Clair, Monroe, Perry, Randolph and Washington.
He said that running for judge is "not an easy endeavor."
"The role of judges and the judiciary impacts lives," he said. "It's not like you can promise people 'If I am elected I'll build a bridge,' or support a particular piece of legislation.
"You educate people on how the court system works."
He said that people want to see that judges don't come with an agenda or a group of allies or causes to champion.
Reflecting on his law work since he was an appellate court justice, McGlynn said he had taken on more difficult cases—involving children and one wrongly accused—which gave him an appreciation for how they see the courts.
"It can be a cold system," he said.
"A judge has to stay fresh, not cynical," he said. "Most cases don't make headlines, but they can affect the custody of someone like Jane Doe."