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Swearing in set for new Illinois Supreme Court Justice

Lisa Holder White
Illinois Supreme Court
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Illinois Justice Lisa Holder White

The newest member of the Illinois Supreme Court will make history when she takes the oath of office next month.

Lisa Holder White will become the first Black woman on the state’s high court. She has been appointed to fill the vacancy created due to Justice Rita Garman’s retirement.

Holder White will take her oath at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum at 11 a.m. July 7. Only those invited can attend due to space limitations, but a live stream will be offered.

The seat will be up for election in November of 2024. A Republican, she began her career as an Assistant State’s Attorney and later Public Defender in Macon County where she grew up.

In 2001, Holder White was sworn in as an Associate Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, the first Black Judge in the circuit. In 2008, she became a Circuit Judge, having been appointed to the position by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a retirement vacancy, and in 2010, was elected to the position. Justice White was sworn in on January 14, 2013, as the first Black Justice on the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District. In 2014, she was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District.

Justice Holder White previously served on and chaired the Illinois Supreme Court Judicial Conference Committee on Education, which is charged with planning and providing continuing judicial education for Illinois judges. She also previously served on and chaired the Illinois Judicial College Board of Trustees. She teaches at the bi-annual Education Conference, which all Illinois state court judges are required to attend, and previously served as an instructor for “New Judge School”. She also served on the Illinois Judicial Conference executive committee responsible for developing the Illinois Judicial Branch Strategic Agenda unveiled in October 2019.

Holder White will be sworn in by Justice Mary Jane Theis at a special session of court. Chief Justice Anne M. Burke will open court and Justice Michael Burke will welcome those in attendance and provide the order of ceremony. Scheduled speakers include Will County Circuit Court Judge Vincent F. Cornelius, retired 4th District Appellate Court Justice M. Carol Pope and Justice Rita B. Garman.