What Makes a Judge Qualified for a Judgeship In a Geographical Unit That Is Smaller Than a Circuit ?
In Thies v. State Board of Elections, 124 Ill. 2d 317, 325, 529 N.E.2d 565, 569, 124 Ill. Dec. 584 (1988), regarding a statute, our supreme court said, "the legislature is without authority to change or add to the qualifications for a judgeship unless the Illinois Constitution gives it the power."
Certainly, just as the legislature is without such authority, the supreme court would not change or add to the qualifications for a judgeship, in a supreme court rule, unless the Illinois Constitution gave it the power.
Additionally, in Thies, our supreme court indicated that there might be an arguable ambiguity in section 11. See Thies, 124 Ill. 2d at 325, 529 N.E.2d at 569.
However, the court went on to say:
"It would seem logical that under section 11, if the unit that selects the judge is the circuit, then any person otherwise qualified who lives anywhere in the circuit is qualified.
Similarly, if the unit that selects the judge is a county or a division of the circuit, then any otherwise qualified person who resides within the unit would be eligible for the judgeship." Thies, 124 Ill. 2d at 325, 529 N.E.2d at 569.
Thus, our supreme court indicated in Thies that in order to be eligible to be a judge in a geographical unit that is smaller than a circuit, the judge must reside within the smaller geographical unit.