Justice Rita Garman will be the Illinois Supreme Court's next chief justice. The 69-year-old Danville Republican was chosen unanimously today by the seven-member court. She will take over Oct. 26 from Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride. Kilbride's three-year term was highlighted by technological advances including allowing a pilot project for cameras in trial courtrooms. Garman was appointed in 2001 to replace a retiring justice. She was elected to a 10-year term in 2002 and retained in 2012. She's been a judge since 1974, the longest-serving woman judge in Illinois and the next-to-longest overall. She says she will continue Kilbride's technology initiatives. She also is interested in children's issues, recommending that the court establish a committee to ensure custody cases focus on the needs of children involved.
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