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Suburban Paper Sues State's Chief Justice

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A suburban Chicago newspaper has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.

The lawsuit also names the other justices of the court, the judges of the Illinois Appellate Court and a circuit court judge.

Chicago Public Radio’s Adriene Hill reports.

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The Kane County Chronicle and Chief Justice Robert Thomas have battled for years. In 2004, Chief Justice Thomas sued the paper and its former columnist Bill Page. Thomas said Page wrote columns about him that were untrue and damaged his reputation. A jury agreed. After a little more legal wrangling, the paper and Page were ordered to pay Thomas four million dollars.

Yesterday the paper fired back-with a federal civil rights lawsuit. The Kane County Chronicle and Page say the legal process was unconstitutional. They say they can’t get a fair appeal because Thomas controls the court system.

Joe Power Junior, is Thomas’s attorney. He says the lawsuit is ludicrous and obscene and calls it a last ditch attempt to get out of the verdict.

I’m Adriene Hill, Chicago Public Radio.

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