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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Big Trials and Legal Cases
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nighttimer
This falls under the category of You Have Got To Be Kidding:

Justices in Illinois Order Increases in Their Salaries
By MONICA DAVEY


CHICAGO, July 28 The justices of the Illinois Supreme Court have decided that all the state's judges deserve cost-of-living raises, themselves included. So they have ordered the government to pay them more.

But others in this deficit-ridden state disagree, including the governor and the comptroller, who writes the checks. That has set off a storm of legal maneuvers that threaten to leave the comptroller in contempt of court, and some of the state's best-paid workers judges suing the governor in their own courts.

"I wouldn't say that this is a constitutional crisis," Comptroller Daniel W. Hynes said this afternoon. "But it is a constitutional clash."

Facing a state budget crisis, aides to Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich say now is no time to pay judges more, not when state departments are slashing budgets and when other top-level employees will be going without raises.

So this month, Mr. Blagojevich vetoed a 2.8 percent cost-of-living increase for the more than 900 judges. That would have cost $3.8 million.

Judges here earn more than $127,000 a year. Supreme Court justices, who earn $158,000, would receive an extra $4,000 a year with the increase.

"In the worst fiscal crisis in Illinois history, with a $5 billion deficit, you have to make tough choices," a spokeswoman for Mr. Blagojevich, Cheryle Jackson, said. "Between investing millions for well-paid judges or investing in health care for children or in preschool for at-risk children, the choice is clear."

But the justices apparently did not see it that way. After two sets of terse letters were exchanged between the courts' administrative offices and the comptroller's office, the justices weighed in on Thursday.

They ordered the state to give judges raises, stating that the governor's veto might have removed the financing for them, but that the action did not remove a legislative resolution from 1990 that required judges to be given annual cost-of-living increases.

The state's Constitution, the justices pointed out, ensures that judges' salaries "not be diminished" in their terms in office.


http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/29/national/29RAIS.html (registration required)

Isn't it nice to know that in a time when most states are facing budget crunches and many people are struggling to make ends meet that there are judges----sage, wise men and women and pillars of honor and respect--putting their grubby hands in the pockets of taxpayers and saying, "Cough up the dough."

A shakedown of the state by judges...Al Capone would have been proud.

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Sleeper
Although I do see this as a slap in the face to the tax payers, where is the question to debate?
nighttimer
Oops! My bad. I'd suggest reading the entire article and not just the part I excerpted.

The question should be: Are the Illinois justices merely following the law or taking advantage of a loophole to raise their pay?
boyscout93
definetly loophole. The judges are taking advantage of their powerful positions to earna few extra dollars.
Jaime
QUOTE(boyscout93 @ Jul 29 2003, 12:22 PM)
definetly loophole.  The judges are taking advantage of their powerful positions to earna few extra dollars.

Hi boyscout93 - please make sure your posts are constructive to this debate. One-liners and off the cuff remarks make it very hard to debate.
boyscout93
sorry. I'm kind of new at this, so im trying to figure out how everything works.
Gray Seal
To me it is clear the judges are out of bounds. They are essentially deciding what their pay should be when the Illinois constitution has a checks and balances system where the legislative and executive branches are suppose to decide it.

How do we rectify it? Well, the process would be to take it to court and have the supreme court review it. *duh* They have openly exposed themselves as unable to keep personal bias out of the court system. It is bad situation where the entire Judicial branch of government is this corrupt.

The repercussions from this are profound. The Supreme Court considers themselves to be untouchable.
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