Kilbride on 200 Years of Illinois Justice

Oct 8, 2018

This week, judges, lawyers, historians, and others will celebrate 200 years of Illinois justice.

Michelle O'Neill reports at a gala tomorrow in Springfield, the Illinois Supreme Court will host a gala 200 years to the day that the high court was created.

Two centuries of Illinois justice have obviously had a great impact on people, institutions, and society.

Justice Tom Kilbride, Illinois Supreme Court
Credit / submitted

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride, of Rock Island, says at first, members of the state's highest court were not elected by the people.

In 1818, four justices were appointed by the General Assembly. But later, the state constitution required them to be elected by popular vote.

As part of the state's bicentennial, the supreme court's Historic Preservation Commission created an exhibit about Illinois law. It teaches people about famous cases such as "Block versus Chicago," the first movie censorship trial in the country and famous Illinois attorneys such as Abraham Lincoln.

Bicentennial of Illinois Justice educational exhibit at the College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL
Credit submitted / Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission

The exhibit, called "The Bicentennial of Illinois Law," is on display at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. At the end of the month, it'll start a tour of other colleges and universities around the state.

The judicial branch bicentennial gala will be held Tuesday night at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. Author and Chicago attorney, Scott Turow, will be the keynote speaker.