I wish to direct the attention of your readers to the current election for Circuit Court Judge of the 11th SubCircuit. I’ve received several mailers from Chris Taliaferro with endorsements from the various political Democratic Party luminaries (24!). His second mailer also asks us explicitly to join “bar associations” in supporting his candidacy. To my count, however (I had to search as no bar associations are actually listed on his mailers), 8 out of 12 bar associations see Taliaferro as unqualified or do not recommend him for this job. The professional organizations we look to, to make sense of the mess of voting for judges, are 2/3 not in favor of him (his opponent has unanimous approval but I’m not talking about her). To be fair, it could be that Taliaferro earned his “not recommended” because he never bothered to subject himself to collegial scrutiny.
So we have the Democratic Party establishment with our own Senator Don Harmon and Village Prez Vicki Scaman, all political suburban and Chicago Council comrades, taking photos and signing their name to this 2/3 not-qualified candidate. How are we to adjudicate among political endorsements when the professional endorsements suggest another candidate?
To make this easier for me, but complicating things perhaps, Taliaferro is a retired Chicago police sergeant. A former police officer can be nothing but a conflict of interest as a judge. The notion that a judge who has had a career as police officer, currently collects a pension from that role in the carceral system, is still essentially represented by the FOP, actively courts police associations for political endorsements, and lacks professional endorsement from his actual legal peers can hear any case with an impartiality is a joke.
However, police as judges is my philosophical problem. (You should consider it, though!) How do we make sense of the Dem establishment? They, like Taliaferro, are left with no credibility: why so forcefully endorse this candidate for a job he is 2/3 not qualified for?
Lenin said, “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience.”
Arab American Bar Association | Not recommended
Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area | Not recommended
Black Women Lawyers Association | Recommended
Chicago Bar Association | Not recommended
Chicago Council of Lawyers | Not qualified
Cook County Bar Association | Recommended
Decalogue Society of Lawyers | Not recommended
Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois | Recommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois | Not qualified
Illinois State Bar Association | Not qualified
LAGBAC-Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association | Not recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois | Recommended
Women’s Bar Association of Illinois | Not recommended
The Chicago Bar Association said in their assessment that Taliaferro is “hardworking and possesses a fine demeanor” but lacks “the depth and breadth of legal knowledge and practice experience” to be a judge.