Rita Garman Of Danville Sworn In As Illinois’ Chief Justice
By Sean Powers
Rita Garman of Danville was sworn in on Monday as the new chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Garman, 69, of Danville is the second woman in that role. She was appointed to the high Court in 2001. She said her experiences serving at every level of the court system have prepared her to take on this role.
“So, I think I’m pretty well aware of the demands on judges in the system, and as well as being conversant with what’s important to the litigants and to the people, and so you come to this position with all those experiences and the affairs of life,” she said. “I think it will give me a better perspective on decision making.”
Garman is currently one of three women to serve on the seven member panel. She said race and gender should not get in the way of equality in the judicial system.
“I couldn’t have dreamed as a young woman that I would ever end up as a judge, and most certainly not as the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court,” Garman said. “When I was young and went to school and said I wanted to be a lawyer, people would have thought I was a little strange for making a statement like that.”
Garman said if she has paved the way for women in the legal profession, it is only because of efforts before her for gender equality.
During her tenure, she said she will continue pushing for the use of technology, including cameras and microphones in courtrooms.