Henry County Democrats

of Henry County, Illinois

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Illinois Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride – Working for You




Illinois Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride is an independent, thoughtful, common-sense judge who has devoted his career to ensuring working families get a fair shake. Seeking retention to the Illinois Supreme Court on the November ballot, Kilbride believes the courts should work for you – which is why it’s critical to vote “YES” for Kilbride so he can to continue his service to our community. Representing the 3rd Judicial District, which stretches across Illinois from the Indiana border to the Mississippi River, Kilbride has held firm to the values he learned prior to joining the court, helping to organize farm workers, working as a laborer and machinist, and serving as a volunteer and volunteer attorney for numerous community groups and neighborhood associations.


As a judge, Kilbride has vigorously defended collective bargaining, protected worker’s rights, and preserved pension benefits from those seeking to shortchange working men and women. He believes every voice should be heard, and during his time as Chief Justice he worked to increase public access to the court system, accelerating the court’s use of digital and video technology to improve transparency and improve efficiency. He was instrumental in forming the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, which makes the courthouse accessible to people who cannot afford a lawyer, including the use of technology to allow people to appear in court by phone or video rather than in person so they don’t have to take a day off work. Kilbride also has a strong record of protecting crime victims, especially children. In 2020, he authored the majority opinion on a case that upheld barring child sex offenders from visiting public parks in Illinois. And when an accused sexual predator attempted to force a physical examination of a 3-year-old victim, Kilbride stood up for the child and refused to let that happen. He supported common-sense standards to prevent guilty verdicts from being senselessly overturned, all the while working to make our justice system more just by backing provisions to ensure innocent people are not tragically executed.


The Illinois State Crime Commission has honored Kilbride with its prestigious Award of Excellence in the Judiciary. Since 2000, he has received more than 60 awards and honors that reflect his commitment to justice, hard work and community. Kilbride, whose wife Mary teaches mathematics at Augustana College, is the proud father of three adult daughters. A graduate of Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee and St. Mary’s College, Kilbride earned his Juris Doctor from Antioch School of Law in 1981. He also earned an honorary degree from Lewis University in Will County.