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Details | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Illinois Supreme Court Assigns Justice Harris to Fill Vacancy in Fourth District Appellate Court


June 23 , 2017

Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Justice Thomas M. Harris has been assigned as an Appellate Court Judge in the Fourth District.

Justice Harris was reassigned to fill the vacancy created following the retirement of Justice M. Carol Pope on August 1, 2017.

The assignment of Justice Harris takes effect on August 1, 2017, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2018 general election.

"I am pleased to announce the assignment of Justice Thomas M. Harris to the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Carol Pope," Justice Garman said. "In his over four years on the appellate court, he has shown himself to be a thoughtful and deliberate jurist, who writes thorough and well-reasoned opinions. He is widely regarded by members of the bench and bar as an outstanding judge, with a judicial temperament that shows respect for all who come before the court. I am certain that he will serve the people as faithfully and as well as the impressive justice he is replacing."

Justice Harris was first appointed as a judge in 2007 and was elected as resident circuit judge of Logan County in 2008. He has served on assigned for the Fourth District Appellate Court since January 3, 2013. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Harris had served as a civil trial lawyer since 1988.

"It's a privilege to serve on the Fourth District Appellate Court. I'm humbled by the confidence that Justice Garman and the rest of the Supreme Court has placed in me," Justice Harris said. "I will continue to work hard as a judge in my current assignment and will work hard as a candidate to be elected to the court in 2018.

"We will all miss Justice Pope on the court. She is a wonderful judge and a great colleague."

Justice Harris earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois and his Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado Law School.

Justice Harris currently serves on the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and previously served on the Special Supreme Court Committee to Study Courtroom and Judicial Security. He is a member of the Illinois Judges Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Logan County Bar Association, and the Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Court. He has previously served as chair of the Allerton Conference, Civil Practice and Procedure Section, and Tort Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Justice Harris is a past member of the board of directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation and previously served on the editorial board of the Illinois Bar Journal and as the publication's editor-in-chief. He is a frequent speaker at professional seminars and guest lectures at the University of Illinois College of Law.

The Fourth Judicial District is composed of 30 counties in central Illinois, including: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Greene, Jersey, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Vermilion and Woodford.