6th Circuit - Blockman Vacancy
What is the importance of a 6th Circuit Judge to your constituents in Champaign County?
The people who are selected as Circuit Judges affect every person in the community. Each judge make decisions for individual cases, such as bond amounts, bond conditions, sentencing, granting or denying warrants, granting or denying protective orders, child custody decisions, foreclosures, evictions, property distributions, the list goes on. Those decisions have rippling effects throughout the community. Beyond courtroom decisions, the Circuit Judges also decide local rules and procedures. Perhaps most importantly, Circuit Judges select the Associate Judges and determine whether or not to reappoint Associate Judges at the end of each 4-year-term.
Why are you qualified to be a 6th Circuit Judge?
I graduated from the University of Illinois in 1993 and the University of Illinois College of Law in 1996. I have extensive experience in civil cases -family, housing, consumer, elder law, etc.- from my years with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance. I have extensive experience in criminal, juvenile, and traffic cases from my years with the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office. I also have significant experience with a wide range of legal issues during my two years in private practice. I have applied for several judicial vacancies in the past. While I have never been appointed by the judges, I have been consistently rated as highly qualified by Judicial Screening Committees and by the Illinois State Bar Association.
What is a key difference between you and your Opponent?
I went to law school to help people, and have devoted my career to public service. My professional mission is improving access to justice. I have been living that mission in and out of courtrooms every single day for more than 20 years. Additionally, I would bring perspectives to the bench that are often unrepresented. We need qualified circuit judges who are mothers, single parents, legal aid attorneys, attorneys with racially diverse families. I believe that I am the best qualified candidate, and I believe I am the only candidate who will bring more balance to the bench and improve access to justice in the Sixth Circuit.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter in Champaign County?
Voters don't get the chance to elect Circuit Judges very often. November 6 is your chance to choose the future of our local bench. I believe we need Circuit Judges with my judgment, my temperament, and my commitment to public service. We need a balanced court, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, private attorneys, and legal aid attorneys. We need judges with different career experiences and different life experiences. We need judges from more than one political affiliation. When the Circuit Judges make decisions that affect our community, those decisions should be informed by a wide variety of perspectives. Many perspectives are unrepresented on the Circuit Court, but we can start to change that in November.