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Fix the Broken Cook County Court System

Individuals enter the court system expecting to receive prompt and impartial decisions, and they deserve judges who work hard to ensure justice is provided in a timely, cost effective, and fair manner for everyone. Unfortunately, this is frequently not the case in Cook County. If given the honor to serve our community as Circuit Court Judge, I will work to fix our broken court system.

First and Foremost, I Will Fight to Ensure Equal Justice for All, Not Just the Rich and Powerful.

Many citizens—who work hard, pay their taxes, and “play by the rules”—can’t afford to use the court system, while the rich, powerful and politically-connected fare much better. That is not right. I will work to make our courts more accessible and more affordable for everyone. In addition, I will ensure that all litigants get the level playing field that they deserve regardless of status by applying the law to the facts and rendering impartial decisions. Each case will be treated with importance, and every party in court will be treated with dignity, fairness, and compassion.

Second, I Will Work to Make Our System More Efficient.

Cases in Cook County take far too long to resolve. A recent report endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce identified Cook County as “known for disproportionate volumes of litigation...”  I have seen firsthand how parties with simple disputes often get “stuck” in the legal system, sometimes for years, and at great cost and hardship. I will work diligently and proactively to make prompt decisions, consistent with the law, so people gain the justice that they deserve in a timely manner and can move forward with their lives.

Third, I Will Make Our Court System Serve You, the Taxpayers, Not Courthouse Insiders.

In many instances our court system prioritizes the interests of insiders over the interests of the public. With over 23 years of experience practicing law in the Cook County courts, I have seen many injustices, from quiet manipulation to outright fraud and corruption.

When the average citizen becomes involved in the court system, their very private matters become part of the public record for the whole world to see. However, rich and powerful insiders—such as well-connected politicians, heavyweight lawyers and former professional athletes—get the benefit of what the Chicago Tribune calls “secret courts” where some judges enter orders keeping their private matters out of the public eye.

Courthouse insiders also benefit from the current system that allows some to work as judges, sometimes for over 20 years, without ever being elected by the voters. These insiders receive handsome six-figure salaries and rack up generous government pensions worth millions of dollars without ever being elected! Some then seek judicial promotions, which requires them to run for election and finally give the voters a say in whether they should serve as judges, but only after they have secured lucrative pensions for themselves. If elected, their already generous government pensions stand to get even richer. With the public facing income tax hikes, higher property taxes, and cuts to vital government services due to Illinois’ public pension crisis, it is difficult to see how rewarding these courthouse insiders with even richer pensions is fair to taxpayers.

Fourth, I Am Committed to Fostering Diversity and Inclusion.

Even though women make up over 40% of the lawyers in the State of Illinois, there is currently only one female judge elected from the 13th Judicial Subcircuit! The local Rolling Meadows courthouse is presently staffed with twelve judges, but only three are women. The judicial vacancy for which I am running is being vacated by a woman. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a think tank based at a respected national law school, “Diversity is an essential component of a fair and impartial judiciary… Bringing diverse experiences and perspectives to bear allow judges to make better informed decisions and increases public confidence in their rulings. Despite these important benefits, neither state nor federal courts reflect the diversity of the communities they serve or the legal profession.” Sadly, the 13th Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County is no exception to this national problem and I am committed to righting this wrong.

For these reasons I need your support. I am committed to serving with integrity and making a positive impact on our community. With your vote, I will fight to fix the broken Cook County court system.


Paid for by Friends of Christine Svenson. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois
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