Makeup of the Illinois Appellate Court & Supreme Court

Makeup of the Illinois Appellate Court & Supreme Court

The Illinois Appellate Court is divided into five separate districts and some of the districts are
subdivided into divisions. Although divided into districts the Illinois Appellate Court is a
unified system and decisions of one district have precedential value for the others. The first
district meets in Chicago, the second in Elgin, the third in Ottawa, the fourth in Springfield,
and the fifth in Mt. Vernon. The first district is divided into six divisions with four justices per
district. The Supreme Court assigns judges to the various divisions. The presiding judge of
each division assigns judges to panels of three to hear appeals.

Currently, there are a total of 54 appellate court justices which is set by statute. Justices are
elected by voters in each district for 10-year terms. The Supreme Court can assign additional
circuit, appellate or retired judges temporarily to any district.

Each district manages its own operations, subject to the overall authority of the Supreme
Court. In the first district, an executive committee exercises general administrative authority.
This committee elects a chairperson and vice-chairperson for one year. In the other districts,
judges select one of their members to serve as presiding judge for one year.

The Illinois Supreme Court is comprised of seven justices and separated into the appellate
districts where one justice is elected from each district except the first district which elects
three justices. The Illinois Supreme Court meets on the 2nd Monday in the months of
September, November, January, March and May. A quorum of four Justices is required for
transaction of Court business and there must be agreement among at least four Justices on
any decision or opinion rendered by the Court. The Justices select one of their members to
serve as Chief Justice for a term of three years. The Illinois Supreme Court is separated into 5
districts, with one Justice elected from each except the 1st, which elects three Justices.

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