Illinois Supreme Court appoints Marion attorney to fill resident circuit judge vacancy in 1st Judicial Circuit
Mr. Sanders was appointed Thursday to fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of resident Circuit Judge Carolyn Smoot, effective November 30, 2016.
The appointment of Mr. Sanders takes effect on December 1, 2016, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2018 general election.
"I'm honored that Chief Justice Karmeier and the Supreme Court have the confidence in me to serve as a Circuit Judge," Sanders said. "I've had the pleasure to represent clients throughout Southern Illinois for the past 28 years. I now look forward to working with the other judges to serve the people of Williamson County and the First Judicial Circuit."
Chief Justice Karmeier recommended the appointment to the full Court following a review of applicants by a screening committee.
“John has an outstanding reputation as a lawyer and has devoted himself to serving the legal profession and his community," Chief Justice Karmeier said. "Because of his judgment, experience and expertise, I have frequently called upon him to serve on my screening committees to fill other judicial vacancies. I was therefore delighted when the screening committee for Judge Smoot’s vacancy recommended John for consideration for this position. The court is grateful for Judge Smoot’s service. We have every confidence that John will do an excellent job as her successor.”
Mr. Sanders practiced alongside his late father Attorney James W. Sanders and his brother, Attorney J. Lawrence Sanders, at the Marion firm of Sanders & Sanders since 1988.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of Illinois in 1985 and his Juris Doctor from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1988.
Mr. Sanders is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and member and past president of the Williamson County Bar Association.
He served for 18 years as an elected trustee to the John A. Logan Community College Board and recently served on the Association of Community Colleges (ACCT) national board. He currently serves on the Illinois State Board of Education.
He and his wife, Amy, reside in Marion and have been married for 34 years. They have two sons, Attorney J. David Sanders of Carbondale and Nicholas Sanders, a senior at Millikin University.
The screening committee consisted of: Chairman, Bernard Paul of Marion, Joe Bleyer of Marion, John Brewster of Marion, Courtney Cox of Carbondale, Sue Hamilton of Carterville, Rebecca Whittington of Carbondale and the Hon. William Wilson of Marion (retired).
Williamson County is one of nine counties in the First Judicial Circuit; the First Judicial Circuit is also comprised of the southern Illinois counties of Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline and Union.