Holder White striving to serve as an example on Illinois Supreme Court
Lisa Holder White said she feels blessed for the opportunity to serve as the first Black woman on the Illinois Supreme Court.
“It’s pretty incredible,” she told Tri States Public Radio.
“I hope that I can serve as an example to young people of all races on how you can achieve things if you work hard, dedicate yourself, believe in yourself, and have a mindset of service – wanting to help others and wanting to do something to make a difference in your community.”
She credited her parents with instilling those qualities in her. She said her parents worked hard and had a strong sense of commitment to the community and the church.
Holder White is the newest member of the Illinois Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court in May 2022, and was sworn in on July 7, 2022.
She replaced Justice Rita Garman, who retired as the longest-serving judge in Illinois.
She said joining the high court wasn’t a difficult transition.
“It didn’t take long. I have quite a bit of experience as a judge. I’ve been a judge for 22 years,” Holder White said.
“Most recently, I was on the Appellate Court, which is a court of review – the same type of thing that we do at the Supreme Court.”
She said while it’s been a smooth transition, she did have to adjust to the administrative duties of Supreme Court justices. Such duties are not required of judges at any other level of the Illinois judicial system.
“There are many committees, boards, and commissions that come under the auspices of the court, to say nothing of the fact that we have supervisory authority over all of the courts in the state of Illinois,” Holder White said.
She said that includes filling judgeships at the circuit and appellate court levels, and supervising and disciplining attorneys.
Before becoming a judge, Holder White gained experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. She said that background gives her a well-rounded perspective while on the bench.
Holder White’s seat on the high court is from the judicial system’s fourth district. It will be up for election in 2024, and she will be running in the Republican primary.
The district encompasses 41 of the state’s 102 counties, including all of the counties in west central Illinois.
“It’s important to me that the citizens of the fourth district know who I am -- get to see me, get to talk to me, and that they know that I am committed to following the law and supporting the constitution of the United States and the state of Illinois,” she said.
To that end, Holder White was one of the guest speakers at this year’s Lincoln Day Dinner for McDonough County Republicans.
She said she is accountable and accessible to the district’s residents.
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