Article excerpt

Choices for the appellate court

In Cook County, which is the 1st District of the Illinois Appellate Court, voters on March 17 will nominate candidates to fill two vacancies on the appellate bench.

In the campaign to fill the vacancy of Edward J. Egan, the nominating choice is quite easy for Republican voters and quite difficult for Democrats.

For Republicans, John K Madden is the clear choice, and he is endorsed by the Daily Herald. Madden has been found qualified by all the major bar associations; his opponent, John Joseph Coyne, is not recommended by any of them.

Voters who take a Democratic ballot will have to choose from among five outstanding candidates: Margaret Stanton McBride; Marvin J. Leavitt, who now serves on the appellate court by way of appointment; Sheila Murphy; Ellis E. Reid; and Kenneth L. Gillis.

All five have established themselves as fine jurists with exceptional legal ability and, according to the bar associations, good judicial temperament.

Only two of the five, however, have received the highest rating available from each of the major bar associations. Those two are McBride and Gillis.

While either would be an excellent nominee, the Daily Herald endorses McBride, a circuit court judge who has presided capably over the third district (Rolling Meadows) district and whose vastly varied experience would serve her well on the appellate court.

Democratic voters should be aware that four candidates seeking a nomination for the Egan vacancy either have very low ratings from the bar associations or chose not to participate in the evaluation process, often a sure sign the candidate knows he or she would be found lacking in experience or ability. Those four are: Paul R. Doyle, William D. O'Neal, Sheila King Devane and Margaret Rose Kelly.

Daniel Joseph Kelley, a 10th Democrat seeking the nomination for the Egan vacancy, received generally favorable ratings from the bar associations.

Democratic voters also have a choice when it comes to nominating a candidate to fill the appellate vacancy of Dom J. …