Future Law

Hon. Anne Burke to Serve as Next Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice

Anne BurkeThe justices of the Supreme Court of Illinois have selected Hon. Anne Burke to serve as their next chief justice. Burke was sworn in on Sept. 10, 2019, with an effective date of Oct. 26, 2019. Her three-year term will run through Oct. 25, 2022.

Burke will be the court’s 121st chief justice. Burke succeeds Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, who has served in the role since 2016. She will be the third woman to serve as chief justice, following the late Justice Mary Ann McMorrow and Justice Rita B. Garman. The position of chief justice rotates among the seven justices based on seniority.

“Justice Anne Burke is devoted to improving the Illinois judicial system for the benefit of the judiciary, the Illinois bar and especially for the people of Illinois” said Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. “On behalf of the Commission, I’d like to congratulate Justice Burke on her new role. We look forward to continuing to work with Justice Burke, Chief Justice Karmeier and the entire judiciary to promote professionalism in the Illinois legal and judicial communities.”

Burke represents Illinois’ First Judicial District, which includes Cook County. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of Illinois in 2006 to replace the retiring McMorrow. Burke was subsequently elected to a full 10-year term in 2008 and retained in 2018.

Burke was admitted to the Federal Court, Northern District of Illinois, in 1983, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in 1985, and certified for the Trial Bar, Federal District Court in 1987. The same year, Illinois Governor James Thompson appointed her Judge to the Court of Claims. She was reappointed by Illinois Governor Jim Edgar in 1991. She was subsequently appointed to the Appellate Court, First District in 1995 and elected in 1996.

Prior to her legal career, Burke was a physical education teacher in the Chicago Park District, where she worked with young people with disabilities. She became a strong advocate for the idea of holding an Olympic-style event for children with special needs. This idea led to the creation of the Special Olympics, which held its inaugural event at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968.

Anne Burke is a member of the American, Illinois State, Chicago and Women’s Bar Associations and The Illinois Judges’ Association. She received a B.A. degree in education from DePaul University in 1976 and a J.D. degree from IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1983.

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