To the Editor:
This year's electoral race for the 5th District Appellate Court is very important to the 37 southern Illinois counties it serves and presents a sharp contrast between the two candidates for the position.
Judge Stephen McGlynn practiced law with his father and brother for several years in Belleville. He currently serves as a 20th Judicial Circuit Judge for St. Clair County. He served as Special Assistant Attorney General for nine years and was an Appellate Judge from July 2005 until December 2006.
He has a distinguished record of defending individual civil rights against governmental and private businesses and received awards for pro bono service to the NAACP. He is a former Director and Chairman of the Board of Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois and Christian Social Services of Illinois and is a past Co-Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
His opponent, plaintiff's attorney Judy Cates, is a past-president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. She has sued the Belleville District 201 school board, of which she was a member, over her opposition to a proposed students' dress code and St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan for publishing unfavorable comments about her. She is heavily funded by attorneys from Chicago and California.
The appellate courts are essential for fairness and equity in the judicial system. By virtue of his professional background and his civic contributions, Judge McGlynn is eminently qualified to serve us in the capacity of 5th District Appellate Court Judge.
Judy Cates is not.
Robert F. Hamilton, M.D.