Illinois Supreme Court, Parental Rights and Democratic Skullduggery

Written by Paul Hurst and David E. Smith

Illinois Family Action is deeply concerned about the race for control over the Illinois Supreme Court. You should be too. After all, the Democrat Party has held majority control for 53 years. Since the Supreme Court is one-third of the branches of our state government, it’s worthwhile to ask if the Court has served us well in checking abuse in the other branches of Illinois government.  Even a momentary consideration screams a resounding, “No!” Illinois has become the “poster child” for crime, corruption and a government with too much power and not enough accountability.

Due to population, Illinois’ Cook County automatically gets three of the seven seats on our highest court. Those are held by Democrats. This election, we have a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to change Illinois’ Supreme Court majority with two open seats in the suburbs and collar counties. Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker is trying to buy one or both seats and he recently donated $500,000 to Democrat candidate, Elizabeth Rochford. Will that money go to solve Illinois’ problems? No, it’s currently going to paint her opponent, Mark Curran, as an extremist.

In reality, Mark Curran is a life-long, public servant, whose principles, compassion and faith have at times put him at odds with political elites in BOTH parties. More concerned with justice, law and order than pleasing donors or politicians, he’s earned the respect of the people he has served. In spite of being outspent 25 to 1, he was chosen by voters to be the GOP nominee. Courageous leadership that isn’t bought-and-paid-for is exactly what Illinois needs for such a time as this.

Judge Rochford, on the other hand, has never been elected to any office.  But make no mistake, she knows how the game is played. She herself donated $15,000 to the husband of a sitting Illinois Supreme Court Justice — that husband was none other than Cook County’s Chicago Alderman, Ed Burke. That’s the same Ed Burke whose office was raided by the FBI and who was indicted for corruption. Even so, Rochford donated to him, after the raid and the indictment.

We don’t think letting rich and powerful people buy positions is a good way to find the best people to serve us, especially on the state’s highest court. We think it will skew their rulings to favor politics over justice and feed the system rather than serve the citizens.

Do we know of examples? Yes. We’ll share just one here regarding parental rights. You be the “judge” and hear how a father and his children were “decimated” when they stood before appointed Judge Rochford in Family Court.



The dad explains, “My ex is very wealthy. She has financial capabilities and Elizabeth Rochford paid very serious favor to her.” The dad’s time with his children was temporarily suspended by Rochford, for an incident he was not even present at. The state-required standards of endangerment and a preponderance of evidence were not met, yet Rochford’s temporary suspension lasted FIVE AND A HALF YEARS.

“I was given less than a 24 hour notice. I did not have legal representation or counsel and I appeared in court and I was decimated,” said the Dad. ”Elizabeth Rochford temporarily suspended my parenting time, knowing that my three children were in pain and suffering. My three children actually reached out to the courts, imploring them, ‘Please! We want our Dad back.’ My children continued to be taken away from me, without any evidence and Elizabeth Rochford did this to us.”

These types of horrifically unjust and abusively prolonged outcomes, feed the court system (with money for lawyers, mandated therapists, counsellors and more) at the expense of the hurting families a Judge should be looking out for. The father had to crash retirement accounts to keep up with all the legal fees. He was in court, almost on average, once per month for fourteen years. This doesn’t sound like justice to us. It sounds like an institutional money machine.

“My children have been damaged and hurt. There were times when I was barely breathing financially,” he said. When friends ask him how he doesn’t give up, he tells them, “I can’t give up, my kids need me.”

He finishes with this warning, “I want the people of the state of Illinois to understand going into this election, there’s no possible way Elizabeth Rochford could perform her duties as would be expected of a professional, state Supreme Court Justice. I want the residents of Illinois to understand what a mistake, absolute mistake it would be to have Elizabeth Rochford on the state Supreme Court.”

The Illinois Supreme Court should be a significant line of defense, protecting parents’ rights, safeguarding our society and making sure justice is delivered in a reasonable timeframe, without prejudice, favoritism or activism. We’re not impressed by Rochford’s performance, her politically connected donors or her endorsements from those she would be charged with overseeing. We’ve reviewed official court manuscripts and have seen where she has judged a person by their appearance, rather than the evidence presented. We have reason to believe there are others who want to come forward and share their stories.

IFA wants what’s best for Illinois. It’s why we do what we do. We encourage you to get involved in this race and vote for our endorsed candidate, Mark Curran. We can actually change our state’s “politics as usual” approach in elevating the politically powerful to positions they are personally unfit to serve in.

In this state filled with extreme violence, injustice and corruption, ironically you are deemed an “extremist” if you get in the way of what the Democrat Party wants. Right now, they want the Illinois Supreme Court. Mark Curran wasn’t an extremist protecting his community as Lake County’s longest-elected Sheriff. Nor was he extreme when he put criminals behind bars and stood up for those who were wrongly convicted, even spending a week in his own jail to understand the conditions inmates lived under.

Curran wasn’t an extremist when he was a Senior Prosecutor with the State’s Attorney’s Office; when he was Chief of the Gang Crimes Bureau; when he started the Sexually Violent Person’s Bureau or created the Veterans’ Ambassador Program to care for our vets in need. He wasn’t an extremist when he was a Professor of Constitutional Law, or a Special Assistant United States Attorney. But now, the Democrats want the Court. Somehow that makes him extreme.

If the definition of extremist is wanting something done about crime, corruption, violence and injustice, it’s IFA’s hope that on Election Day, the defeated Democrat Supreme Court candidates will know we’re extremely dissatisfied with the results of 53 years of Democrat control over our Judicial Branch.

Please support and get out the vote for Mark C. Curran, Jr. for Illinois Supreme Court in District 2 and Justice Michael Burke for Illinois Supreme Court, District 3. (No relation to indicted Chicago Alderman, Ed Burke.)