BENTON, IL - A longtime federal judge in southern Illinois says he'll retire from active duties early next year. Marking his 21st year on the federal bench Thursday, U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert (photo right) told the Southern Illinoisan that he'll be stepping down next March, when he turns 65.
Gilbert has sent a letter to President Barack Obama announcing his intentions, saying he'll continue his public service by taking on the role of senior judge. That status would give him a reduced caseload.
Gilbert was appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.