The new chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court is taking office today.
Justice Rita Garman was unanimously elected by her colleagues to the seven-member court.
She is the first of the state's top jurists to serve in virtually every judicial capacity on the circuit, appellate and Supreme courts.
Garman is the 119th chief justice and the second woman to hold the post. She has been a judge since 1974 and begn her legal career with the Vermilion County Legal Aid Society.
She's replacing Justice Thomas Kilbride who served three years as chief justice. He resumes his associate justice post.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's pleased the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear his appeal of a ruling that found his veto of lawmakers' pay unconstitutional.
The court issued its one-page order Wednesday. A hearing date has not been set.
Quinn halted lawmakers' salaries in July. He said they shouldn't get paid until they addressed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton then sued, arguing Quinn didn't have the authority to halt lawmaker paychecks.
A Cook County judge in September ordered that legislators be paid immediately.
Quinn appealed directly to the state's high court, saying his move was allowed through the state constitution.
Quinn's spokeswoman says the governor will continue to not accept his own paycheck until pension reform is achieved.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Gov. Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.
Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.
House Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton dispute Quinn's argument that the Illinois constitution only bans mid-term increases in pay.Illinois' unfunded pension liability is close to $100 billion, due largely to lawmakers shorting or skipping payments. A committee of lawmakers has been working on one possible reform package that could save $138 billion over 30 years.
Illinois Supreme Court spokesman Joseph Tybor, who was authorized to speak on the family's behalf, says McMorrow died Saturday at a Chicago hospital following a brief illness. She was 83.
McMorrow set numerous precedents. She was the only woman in her 1953 class at Loyola University School of Law, and became the first woman on Illinois' highest court in 1992. She served as chief justice from 2002 to 2005.
But when she retired in 2006, McMorrow told The Associated Press she never focused on being a trailblazer. She said she was "just trying to do the best I could."
McMorrow is survived by her daughter and her sister.