October 8, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Central Time
The Perils and Promise of Judicial Elections: Why They Matter
This November, more than 60 Cook County judges will be on the ballot seeking retention. Originally envisioned as a means of participatory democracy, judicial elections have been widely criticized as inaccessible to the electorate and rife with ethical concerns.
To learn more on why judicial elections matter and how voters can make informed choices in down ballot races, join the ACS Chicago Lawyer Chapter, Common Cause, Injustice Watch, and the Stevenson Center on Democracy for a diverse panel and rich discussion!
Jen Dean, Deputy Director, Chicago Votes
Kulmeet (Bob) Galhotra, Sole Proprietor, Galhotra Law
Michael S. Kang, William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law; Nationally recognized expert on campaign finance, voting rights, redistricting, judicial elections, and corporate governance.
Juliet Sorensen, Executive Director, Injustice Watch; Clinical Professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Co-author of Public Corruption and the Law: Cases and Materials (West Academic 2017)
To attend this event please click here to register.
Jen Dean is the Deputy Director of Chicago Votes and a political strategist, sociologist, youth mentor, and community organizer. Jen's passion is to cultivate new social justice initiatives such as Rest for Radicals, Parade To The Polls, and Unlock Civics. The legislation she co-drafted, SB2090, turned Cook County Jail into the first jail in the country that is an official polling location. Jen also successfully advocated for the Re-entering Citizen’s Civics Education Act requiring anyone leaving prison to receive three, 90-minute peer-taught civics classes designed by DePaul and Chicago Votes. Jen recently received two major professional awards, one from MTV as a “Leader for Change” and the Barbara Jordan Award for excellence in judicial advocacy and education from Judicial Accountability PAC. Some of her current organizing focuses on voting in prison and building a more diverse, quality judiciary.
Kulmeet (Bob) Galhotra
Bob Galhotra is the sole proprietor at Galhotra Law, where he focuses his practice on criminal defense and civil rights law. He served for nearly three decades as an assistant public defender in Cook County, representing the indigent accused in criminal courts. At the time of his retirement in 2019, he was a supervisor in the Homicide Task Force, a special unit in the public defender’s office that exclusively handled homicide and capital cases. He has participated in the judicial evaluation process as both an evaluator for the Alliance of Bar Associations and as an associate judge candidate, and has organized several judicial forums in the Austin community, giving residents an opportunity to hear firsthand from judicial candidates. Bob is also an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he has taught criminal procedure and trial advocacy.
Michael S. Kang
Michael S. Kang is the William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and a nationally recognized expert on campaign finance, voting rights, redistricting, judicial elections, and corporate governance. His research has been published widely in leading law journals and featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Forbes, among others. His recent work focuses on partisan gerrymandering; the influence of party and campaign finance on elected judges; the de-regulation of campaign finance after Citizens United; and so-called “sore loser laws” that restrict losing primary candidates from running in the general election. He is the co-author of a forthcoming book on judicial elections and campaign finance, tentatively titled “Free to Judge?"
Juliet Sorensen is the Executive Director of Injustice Watch and a Clinical Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She is the co-author of Public Corruption and the Law: Cases and Materials (West Academic 2017). From 2016 until 2020, she served on the Cook County Board of Ethics.