Don’t Overlook This Key Illinois Judicial Race

Written by James M. Odom, Esq.

The 5th District of Illinois is the largest geographical Supreme Court district in the state, covering 37 counties (36% of Illinois courts) from Christian County in the North to Alexander County in the South [1]. In this election cycle, voters in these counties will be voting to fill the vacancy left by retiring Justice Lloyd Karmeier. Democrat Judy Cates and Republican David K. Overstreet are running in this key Illinois race this election. Each justice is elected for a term of ten years, so the importance of this race cannot be over emphasized.

“…you shall select [to judge] out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain…” ~Exodus 18:21

In 2004, Justice Karmeier, known for his hard work, faith, honesty and integrity, was elected as the Supreme Court Justice to head that district, in the most expensive state Supreme Court race in U.S. history [2].

Through hard work in the following 16 years, Karmeier has made great progress in reforming and improving those courts, some of which had reputations for corruption.

When justice rules a nation, everyone is glad; when injustice rules, everyone groans. ~Proverbs 29:2

Democrats in 2016 again thought this race was so important, that they unsuccessfully poured even more money into attack ads, to keep Karmeier from being retained.

At 80 years of age, not wanting to leave his replacement to chance, Karmeier has sought and found a replacement to continue this important work: David Overstreet.  According to a recent Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article, Overstreet is proud to use the label “constitutional conservative.”

Retired Illinois Senator David Luechtefeld says that Overstreet can win, but not without a big and expensive fight. Michael Madigan and the Illinois Democratic Party has around $25 million available from which to oppose Republicans like Overstreet.

Luechtefeld, most well known as a hall of fame high school basketball coach, and a key leader in Southern Illinois’ overwhelming change to conservative politics over the past two decades, has a keen interest in seeing Overstreet win.

According to Luechtefeld, Overstreet, like Karmeier, is a man of hard work, faith, honesty and integrity, and the right choice for the job.

“…you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain…”

If Overstreet doesn’t win, over a third of Illinois state courts will return to the hands of those whose philosophies would reverse this progress.

In my professional opinion, every voter in the 5th District should move heaven and earth, and the heaven and earth of their 100 closest friends (all alive and voting at only one location, please), to vote for David Overstreet.


[1] Alexander, Bond, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, St. Clair, Saline, Shelby, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White, and Williamson

[2] Madison Record, “Karmeier win bellows resounding message,” November 5, 2004.


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