Chief Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court has invited the ALA's members to attend a memorial service in honor of the late Justice Charles E. Freeman at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
In light of COVID-19, guests will not gather in the Supreme Court Building, but the service will be streamed at: https://livestream.com/blueroomstream/events/9226889. A video recording of the service will be available on the Court's website for those who cannot watch live, and a program for the service may be downloaded from the Court's website (http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Media/Video/Events/default.asp) a few days prior to the service.
Justice Freeman was elected as the first African-American member of the Illinois Supreme Court in 1990, and also served on the Illinois Appellate Court from 1986 to 1990 and the Cook County Circuit Court from 1976 to 1986. Before serving on the bench, Justice Freeman worked in private practice and various public service roles, including as an Assistant Attorney General, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney, Assistant Attorney for the Cook County Board of Election Commissioners, and arbitrator with the Illinois Industrial Commission. During his 28 years as a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, he was praised for drafting opinions upholding criminal defendants' rights, improving efficiency in the Family Violence Prevention program, and improving the Court's operations, including establishing its web page. Justice Freeman received numerous awards throughout his distinguished career, including the Freedom Award from The John Marshall Law School, the Seymour Simon Justice Award from the Jewish Judges Association, the Earl Burrus Dickerson Award from the Chicago Bar Association, and the Ira B. Platt Award and Presidential Award from the Cook County Bar Association.