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Republican, Holder-White; 1st Black Female IL Supreme Court Justice

Trailblazing Justice Rita B. Garman has announced her retirement from the Illinois Supreme Court effective July 7, 2022. Justice Garman, 78, has served on the Supreme Court since 2001 and retires as the longest serving judge in Illinois. She served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 2013 to 2016.

“There is no doubt that I have had the role of a lifetime, a privilege to serve the people of the state of Illinois as a member of the court system at every level,” Justice Garman said. “But this is the right time for me to step back from my public role and allow someone else to assume this all- important position. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Illinois.”

The Supreme Court has constitutional authority to fill interim judicial vacancies and has appointed another trailblazing justice, Fourth District Appellate Justice Lisa Holder White, to fill Justice Garman’s seat.

“Rita has been my close friend, mentor, and role model since I joined the bench in 2006. I have so much gratitude for her service to the Illinois judiciary,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “No words can describe her loss. However, she has provided hope for the future by nominating for her replacement a wonderful woman who will be able to step right into her shoes. It is a pleasure to welcome Justice Holder White to the Court.”

Justice Holder White, whose term is effective July 8, 2022, through December 2, 2024, will be the first Black woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court.

“Being appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court is the honor of a lifetime. I am humbled by the confidence Justice Rita B. Garman and the entire Court have placed in me,” Justice Holder White said. “My service to the judiciary for the past 21 years has helped prepare me for this historic moment. I look forward to the privilege of resolving matters my fellow citizens bring before the Court.”


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