Gavel Grab

Targeted Illinois County Judge Airs TV Advertising

A circuit judge in Madison County, Illinois, who is among four judges there targeted for removal in a retention election, has begun airing TV advertising seeking a “yes” vote on Election Day.

Last year, Judge Barbara Crowder was barred  from hearing all asbestos cases after her campaign had received $30,000 from three law firms representing plaintiffs in asbestos-exposure cases. The judge subsequently directed her campaign committee to give back the donations, and she denied any wrongdoing.

A pro-Crowder TV ad made available by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch features a female narrator who states, “Judge Barb Crowder knows our courts are here to ensure that justice is served and [family violence] victims are protected.” The ad urges a vote to retain Crowder, who the narrator says is “serving to stop the cycle of family violence.”

A separate Post-Dispatch article, meanwhile, reports on a grassroots group’s effort to remove the four judges in next month’s election.

Citizens for Judicial Integrity is urging removal of the four judges “because of concerns that the court is influenced by large donations from asbestos lawyers, which has resulted in an increased number of asbestos-related court filings in Madison County,” according to the article.

Meanwhile a Madison County Record article discussed the stance taken by the Illinois Civil Justice League. The group has urged a “no” vote on Judge Crowder’s retention and a “yes” vote for the other three judges targeted by Citizens for Judicial Integrity.

To learn more about the Madison County judicial elections see Gavel Grab.

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