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Fitzgerald Opens Court Term for Last Time

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Illinois’ Chief Justice opened the state supreme court’s fall term for the last time on Tuesday. Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald has announced he’s leaving the bench late next month.

Court spokesman Joe Tybor says Fitzgerald’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

TYBOR: While he feels he’s fully capable of discharging his duties now, with the nature of Parkinson’s, he doesn’t know how much longer that will continue. So, he’s a big baseball fan. He said he wanted to go out like Sandy Koufax.

Fitzgerald was appointed to the state supreme court in 2000.

Before that, he helped reform Cook County’s traffic courts in the wake of the Greylord corruption scandal in the 1980s.

The other six justices have already approved Cook County Appellate Court Judge Mary Ann Theis to fill the vacancy on the court.

They’ll choose a new chief justice once Fitzgerald officially steps down.

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