You haven't heard the last of Cook County Circuit Judge Cynthia Brim, who was ejected from her courtroom during a bizarre rant, got arrested for throwing a set of keys at a deputy sheriff and was acquitted of misdemeanor battery after pleading insanity.
She's still not allowed in the courthouse without an escort, but she hopes to return to the bench soon, and why not? In November — eight months after her arrest — voters awarded her another six-year term.
Voters had no way of knowing it was the fifth time she'd been hospitalized for a mental breakdown after she stopped taking her meds. But they had plenty of other reasons to fire her. She'd been found unqualified by local bar associations who evaluated her in this election cycle, and the one before, and the one before that. Each time, she won another term.
Yes, the voters have spoken. Somehow we don't think they were saying, Great job, Judge Brim! More likely they got to the bottom of the ballot, where 57 unfamiliar names awaited an up-or-down vote, and punted.
They voted yes on all of them. Or maybe no. Or they didn't vote at all. It's been 22 years since voters tossed a judge from the bench, and it's not because Cook County has only good judges. It's because the system protects the bad ones. It must be changed.
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Firing bad judges