NAACP Head Presses for Black Judge to Fill Opening

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An NAACP leader in southwestern Illinois is pressing that a judgeship vacancy be filled by a black candidate.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that as president of the advocacy group’s East St. Louis branch, Stanley Franklin says three qualified minority candidates previously applied for the job.

The vacancy was created earlier this month by the death of Joe Christ, a little more than a week after being sworn in as an associate judge. Christ, a former prosecutor in St. Clair County, died on a duck-hunting trip.

The court now has two black associate judges and one circuit judge.

Chief Judge John Baricevic, who is white, has said that no racial quota factors into who is named to the bench, and that those positions go to the best-qualified candidate.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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