The Northern District of Illinois has a critical number of vacancies. Judge St. Eve just left for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Zagel took senior status in October 2016. Judge Zagel took senior status in March 2017 and passed away shortly thereafter. Judge Der-Yeghiayan retired in February 2018. Senior Judge Shadur (who maintained a very full docket) also retired early this year, shortly before he passed away. Judge Kapala in the Western Division plans to take senior status in 2019. With approximately 15,000 civil cases in the Northern District at any given time, being down four judges, as well as several senior judges, is a significant issue for the Court. It will eventually translate into slower justice.
Senators Durkin and Duckworth sought applications to fill the spots with application packets due February 1. So, hopefully the vetting and nomination process is well underway and we will have several appointments this year.