Jury awards $7 million to Illinois’ Supreme Court Chief Justice

Nov 15, 2006 Jury awards $7 million to Illinois’ Supreme Court Chief Justice

The Courier News reports:

"A Kane County jury has awarded $7 million to Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Thomas in finding in favor of the jurist in his libel suit against the Kane County Chronicle newspaper. Thomas had asked for between $8.5 million and $16 million for the emotional damage and loss of reputation he said he sustained after the publication of columns written by columnist Bill Page in 2003 accusing Thomas of trading one of his votes for a political favor."

If the defendant reaches the Illinois Supreme Court on appeal, I surmise the chief justice will recuse himself. Possibly some other state Supreme Court justices will recuse, too, perhaps to the point that substitute judges will be needed to decide the appeal. From where will the substitute judges come?

My absolute opposition to libel laws is detailed here. Thanks to the Media Law Resource Center for posting an alert to this case. Jon Katz.

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