To fill the only seat on the Illinois Supreme Court to which an African American has ever been elected, the Sun-Times endorses Justice P. Scott Neville Jr., a seasoned jurist who has demonstrated a commitment to the law — and a fair shake for all — over a long career.
Neville was appointed to the state’s high court in 2018 to replace the first African American on the court, Charles Freeman. Throughout his career, which includes 14 years as an appellate judge, he has been praised for his sound legal ability.
Neville doesn’t have the gregarious personality of a politician, which is fine by us. But lawyers and fellow judges agree he has an extensive understanding of the law, prepares well for oral arguments and reads briefs thoroughly.
Among the seven candidates — including five appellate judges — running for this seat representing Cook County, he has been awarded the highest cumulative score from 13 bar associations.
Neville lectures at local law schools and is active in trying to improve the courts at all levels.
He supports making recordings mandatory in civil courtrooms, for example, so that average people who can’t afford stenographers have access to the documentation they need to file appeals. And because about 70% of all people in civil cases don’t have a lawyer — undermining their “right to be heard” — he favors awarding six hours of credit toward lawyers’ required continuing legal education every two years for every 30 hours they spend representing such plaintiffs and defendants.
Also running for this seat are Daniel Epstein, a lawyer at Jenner & Block, and appellate judges Margaret Stanton McBride, Jesse G. Reyes, Cynthia Y. Cobbs, Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse and Shelly A. Harris.
For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois primary voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.
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