Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke has announced that she is retiring from the bench, effective December 1, 2022. Chief Justice Burke has served on the State’s highest court since 2006 and has served as its Chief Justice since 2019, guiding the Court and the Illinois judiciary through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Justice Burke’s judicial career began in 1987, when she was appointed as the first female judge on the Court of Claims. In 1994, she served as the Governor’s Special Counsel for Child Welfare Services and, the next year, was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court, First Judicial District. In 1996, Chief Justice Burke was elected to the appellate court for a full term and served there until her appointment to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2006. She was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court for a full term in 2008 and retained in 2018.
Before serving on the bench, Chief Justice Burke practiced law on the South Side of Chicago, frequently representing families and serving as a guardian ad litem for children. She received her Juris Doctor from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1983, and her undergraduate degree in education from DePaul University.
Before attending law school, Chief Justice Burke taught physical education at the Chicago Park District and was instrumental in the creation of the first Chicago Special Olympics in 1968, which later grew to become the International Special Olympics. She later served as the Director of the International Special Olympics and, to this day, remains involved in the Chicago Special Olympics.
Chief Justice Burke’s full statement announcing her retirement may be found here.
The Appellate Lawyers Association thanks Chief Justice Burke for her distinguished, groundbreaking career and tireless commitment to public service, and wishes her the best in her retirement.