January 8, 1999




S. Louis Rathje was sworn in Friday as justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Retiring Justice John L. Nickels, whom Rathje was appointed to succeed, administered the oath in a ceremony attended in Justice Rathje’s offices in St. Charles.

Justice Rathje, 59, from Wheaton, had served on the Appellate Court from the 2nd Judicial District since 1994. He will serve by appointment on the Court until the year 2000, when an election will be held for a regular 10-year term. Rathje has said he will run for election from the 2nd Judicial District at that time.

Rathje is believed to be the first judge from DuPage County to ever sit on the bench of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Before Justice Rathje was elected to the Appellate Court, he was elected a circuit judge in 1992 for the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage County. Before both of his elections, he was found "highly qualified" as a candidate by the DuPage County Bar Association.

Judge Rathje was born in Geneva in 1939. He received his B.A. degree from Wheaton College in 1961 and his J.D. degree from Northwestern Law School in 1964.

He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1964, the State of Wisconsin bar in 1989, and to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1980.

He practiced law at the Wheaton firm of Rathje, Woodward, Dyer & Burt and was a partner with the firm from 1970 through 1992. He is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Illinois Judges Association.

Judge Rathje is married to Dr. Maria Rosa Costanzo.