Illinois Supreme Court

State: Illinois

Following the model of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court of Illinois is one of the three branches of the state government. Justices were originally appointed by the state legislature, although their number differed over time. After the constitutional convention of 1848, the number of justices was reduced to three, who were selected by popular vote and represented each of the state’s three divisions. Abraham Lincoln argued over 200 cases before the Illinois Supreme Court during his legal career.

Ill. Const. of 1818, art. IV, § 1-8; An Act Reorganizing the Judiciary of the State of Illinois; Ill. Const. of 1848, art. V, § 1-15; For Lincoln’s cases before the Supreme Court, search under Court Name, “Illinois Supreme Court,” Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009),