Illinois’ highest court is the Supreme Court of Illinois. The court has six justices and one chief justice, who is elected by the other justices to serve a three-year term. (Source: Supreme Court of Illinois; Illinois Constitution) 

Judicial Selection

Justices on the Supreme Court of Illinois are elected for 10-year terms through a partisan election, where multiple candidates may vie for the seat. Justices may seek additional terms through an unopposed yes/no retention vote. When a seat becomes open in the middle of a justice’s term, the remaining justices of the court appoint a judicial candidate to fill the vacancy. An interim justice appointed more than 60 days before Illinois’ next judicial primary holds office until the next general or judicial election. However, an interim justice appointed less than 60 days before Illinois’ next judicial primary, holds office until the second general or judicial election after the appointment. There are no term limits nor is there a mandatory retirement age.

State Constitution

Illinois has had four constitutions adopted between 1818 and 1970. As of January 1, 2024, it had 16 amendments. (Source: John Dinan, 2024)


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