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Chief Justice Anne Burke to retire from Illinois Supreme Court

Anne Burke
Illinois Supreme Court (via uis.edu)
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Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke will retire from the bench later this year, court officials announced today.

Burke will retire at the end of November — a month after stepping down from her three-year rotation as the high court’s Chief Justice.

Replacing Burke as Chief Justice is Mary Jane Theis, who has served on the state Supreme Court since 2010.

And filling Burke’s vacancy on the court is Joy V. Cunningham, who will be the court’s second Black woman justice. The first was sworn in earlier this summer.

Justice Burke’s 16 years on the Illinois Supreme Court capped off a legal career she began late in life, at age 40.

Prior to law school, Burke co-founded what would later become the Special Olympics in the late 1960s.

Burke is the wife of indicted Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, who will stand trial on corruption charges next year.

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at outlets including WILL-AM/FM, Law360, The Daily Line and a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax before returning to the station in 2020.