Rita B. Garman
Rita B. Garman (born November 19, 1943 in Aurora, Illinois) is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois. She represents the Fourth Judicial District on the Supreme Court. She was elected by her peers to serve a three year term as Chief Justice and assumed that office on October 26, 2013, succeeding Justice Thomas Kilbride.
Garman was valedictorian of Oswego High School in 1961. She received her B.S. degree in economics with highest honors from the University of Illinois in 1965, Bronze Tablet, and her J.D. degree with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1968. She was an Assistant State's Attorney in Vermilion County from 1969 to 1973, and later worked in private practice with Sebat, Swanson, Banks, Lessen & Garman. In 1973, she was appointed an Associate Judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, where she served for 12 years. In 1987, she was elevated to be a Circuit Judge in the Fifth Judicial Circuit (1986–95) and served as the Fifth Circuit's Presiding Judge from 1987 until her assignment to the Appellate Court.
Chief Justice Garman was assigned to the Appellate Court, Fourth District, in July 1995, and was elected to the position in November 1996. Chief Justice Garman was appointed to the Supreme Court of Illinois on February 1, 2001, and elected to the Court on November 5, 2002. She was retained by the voters in 2012 for a term that ends in 2022. While on the Supreme Court, Garman also established a Special Committee on Child Custody Issues and still serves as its liaison. She is a member of the Vermilion County, Illinois State and Iowa Bar Associations, and the Illinois Judges' Association.