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Lloyd Karmeier named chief justice of Illinois Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Illinois (from left): Justice Anne M. Burke; Justice Rita B. Garman; Justice Charles E. Freeman; Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride; Justice Robert R. Thomas; Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, who will take over as chief justice on Oct. 26; and Justice Mary Jane Theis.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier has been selected by his peers on the state’s highest court to be its next chief justice.

The state Supreme Court on Monday announced Karmeier’s unanimous selection to a three-year term beginning Oct. 26. He will be the chief administrative officer of the state’s judicial system and oversee more than 900 judges in Illinois.

Lloyd Karmeier is the new chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. | File photo/The State Journal-Register, distributed by the Associated Press
Lloyd Karmeier is the new chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. | File photo/The State Journal-Register, distributed by the Associated Press

Karmeier has served on the Supreme Court since 2004. He received attention for voting in 2005 to overturn a $10.1 billion class-action judgment against Philip Morris over past efforts to market “low-tar” and “light” cigarettes as healthier alternatives. Plaintiffs’ attorneys wanted him recused from the case, saying he had received contributions from Philip Morris, which Karmeier denied.

Karmeier is replacing Justice Rita Garman, who is finishing a three-year term as chief justice.