* WBEZ dug up 10 Illinois Supreme Court cases where Justice Anne Burke participated in the decision even though her husband Ed Burke’s law firm represented one of the parties in property tax matters. There’s zero evidence that Burke tipped the scale on behalf of her husband’s clients, but the pledge she took when she was first sworn in looks inoperative to my eyes…
On the day she first was sworn in as a justice in 2006, Burke pledged to be mindful of potential conflicts of interest that might involve her politics or her husband.
“I’m constantly on the lookout for any possible — what appears to be, which I might not even think is an appearance of — impropriety or conflict. I go the opposite way,” she said. […]
In the case involving Jason Sloan, a court spokesman said Justice Burke was unaware that her husband had any financial relationship to ComEd.
“I can confirm on the record that Justice Burke did not know who was or was not a client of Klafter & Burke in 2011 and still does not know who may or may not be a client of Klafter & Burke to this day,” court spokesman Christopher Bonjean said in a statement.
Court rules dictate that judges shall “make a reasonable effort to keep informed about the personal economic interests of the judge’s spouse.”
You cannot be both “constantly on the lookout” for even the appearance of conflict and then never make a reasonable effort to ask your attorney spouse about possible conflicts.