Robert R. Thomas
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|Date of birth:||August 7, 1952|
|Place of birth:||Rochester, New York|
|NFL Draft:||1974 / Round: 15 / Pick 388
(By the Los Angeles Rams)
San Diego Chargers
New York Giants
|Playing stats at|
Robert R. Thomas (born August 7, 1952 in Rochester, New York) is a justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois and a former professional football player. He has served as the Illinois Supreme Court Justice for the Second District since December 4, 2000 and as Chief Justice from September 6, 2005 to September 5, 2008. His political affiliation is Republican.
Thomas graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, where he excelled both academically and in athletics, lettering in both football and soccer. He attended the University of Notre Dame where he kicked for the football team, including kicking the winning field goal in the 1973 Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama, which clinched the AP National Championship that season for the Fighting Irish. He received his B.A. degree in government in 1974 and was named an Academic All-American in that same year. He went on to have a 12–year career as a kicker in the National Football League. He received his J.D. degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1981. He was elected circuit court judge in DuPage County in 1988. There, he presided over civil jury trials and was the Acting Chief Judge from 1989 to 1994. In 1994, Judge Thomas was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District.
In April 1996, Justice Thomas was inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame, and in January 1999, he received the prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. Justice Thomas is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association.
Defamation of Character lawsuit
In 2007, Justice Thomas was awarded $7 million in a successful defamation of character lawsuit against Bill Page, a former columnist at the Kane County Chronicle. The justice's lawyers alleged that Mr. Page had essentially accused him of official misconduct, a felony, when he wrote in his column that he had traded his vote on a disciplinary case in exchange for political support for his favored candidate in a local judicial race. The case was significant because it prompted an Illinois appellate court to establish a judicial privilege in Illinois, allowing judicial deliberations to be kept private, much like doctor-patient discussions.
Ruling on Rahm Emanuel ballot eligibility
On January 1, 2011 Justice Thomas authored the Illinois State Supreme Court decision Maksym vs. Chicago Board of Elections that overturned a lower court ruling that Rahm Emanuel was ineligible to run for Mayor of Chicago.
- Kleppel, Ken. "From The Gridiron To The Supreme Court". University of Notre Dame. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- "Clash of a Judge and a Small Paper Underlines the Tangled History of Defamation", The New York Times, November 20, 2006, accessed March 28, 2008.
- WALTER P. MAKSYM et al., Appellees, v. THE BOARD OF ELECTION COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO et al., Appellants., retrieved 2011-01-27
|Chicago Bears Kickers
Gary Hall, Sr.
|Silver Anniversary Awards (NCAA)
Class of 1999
Robert R. Thomas
John Dickson Stufflebeem