Who Is Anne Burke?

By Abdon M. Pallasch
Daily Southtown [Chicago IL]
April 6, 2006

Anne McGlone Burke, 62, made a name for herself in 1968 as a young Chicago Park District physical education teacher, helping to convene the first International Special Olympics at Soldier Field.

With four children younger than 10 at home, she completed her college and law degrees. She later won a high-profile class-action lawsuit against retail stores for overcharging taxes on feminine hygiene products.

In 1987, then-Gov. Jim Thompson appointed Burke to the Illinois Court of Claims. In 1994, Gov. Jim Edgar appointed her special counsel for child welfare services.

Being married to powerful Chicago Ald. Edward Burke (14th) opened doors for her, but she had to succeed or fail on her own, she said.

"He didn't take the bar for me," she said of her husband.

In 1995, Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann McMorrow appointed Burke to the Illinois Appellate Court, and she was elected to a seat in 1996.

Burke's role on the lay panel appointed by U.S. Catholic bishops to advise them on addressing the church's priest sex-abuse scandal showed she was willing to stand up to authority and was willing to handle tough issues, her supporter say.

Other women on the appellate court may get higher ratings from bar groups, but Burke's fans said she has the skills to succeed on the Supreme Court.

With her strong personality, "she might be more willing to take some stands on the court that might offend some people, maybe even some people who support her," Southern Illinois University law professor William Schroeder said.


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