SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier will be its next Chief Justice. Justice Karmeier was unanimously elected to the office by his fellow justices and will serve a three-year term commencing October 26, 2016. He succeeds Rita B. Garman, whose tenure as Chief Justice ends October 25, 2016.
An installation ceremony honoring Justice Karmeier’s election as Chief Justice will be held at the Supreme Court Building in Springfield on Monday, October 31. Justice Garman will administer the oath of office. Justice Karmeier will be this State’s 120th Chief Justice and the second person from Washington County to hold that office. Justice Byron O. House, for whom Justice Karmeier served as a law clerk, was the first.
“I appreciate the confidence shown by the other members of the court in electing me to this position,” said Justice Karmeier. “Since joining the court in 2004, I have had the privilege of serving under five different chief justices, all of whom have done an outstanding job. I will do my very best to live up to the high standard they have set.”
Noting the court’s ongoing initiatives to expand access to justice and adopt a statewide system for electronic filing, Justice Karmeier pledged to continue the court’s efforts to make the resources of the judicial branch more efficient, more effective and more readily available to all who need them.
“We have made great strides in those areas over the past several years,” Justice Karmeier observed, “and we have done so despite the state’s considerable economic difficulties. Thanks to the outstanding personnel the court has assembled in its Administrative Office and its various boards and commissions, I am confident we will be able to build on that momentum in the years to come.”
Justice Karmeier is a native and life-long resident of Washington County, where he attended a one-room grade school. After graduating valedictorian from Okawville Community High School, he attended the University of Illinois, where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees. Justice Karmeier clerked for former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Byron 0. House from 1964 to 1968, served as state’s attorney of Washington County from 1968 to 1972, and clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James L. Foreman from 1972 to 1973.
He was engaged in the general practice of law with the firm of Hohlt, House, DeMoss & Johnson from 1964 to 1986. He was resident Circuit Judge of Washington County from 1986 to 2004, when he was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Justice Karmeier was retained in office for a second term as a Justice of the Supreme Court in November of 2014. In addition to his regular judicial duties, Justice Karmeier is the Supreme Court’s liaison to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board, and the Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases.