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Trending: Should a Judge Who Suffers From a Mental Illness Be Allowed to Return to the Bench?

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Judge Cynthia Brim in her Cook County booking mug and in happier times on a recent talk show appearance.
Judge Cynthia Brim in her Cook County booking mug and in happier times on a recent talk show appearance.
By Dennis Robaugh

CHICAGO – A judge brought up on battery charges and found not guilty by reason of insanity last year wants her robe and gavel back.

Cook County Judge Cynthia Brim — diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type — appeared before the Illinois Courts Commission Friday and said she believes she can return to the bench as long as she stays on her meds.

The commission will rule on whether she can have her job back. She's been barred from the bench since March 2012, when she suffered a courtroom meltdown during which she ranted for 45 minutes about how Evergreen Park and South Holland police officers only ticket blacks and Hispanics. The next day, she threw her keys and shoved a Cook County sheriff's deputy.

Brim was suspended by the chief judge and charged with battery. She still receives her $182,000 salary. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity in February 2013.

On Friday, Brim told the courts commission she's been hospitalized for mental illness nine times since 1994. She would repeatedly stop taking her prescribed anti-psychotic medications.

"I can serve as a judge with full capabilities as long as I continue to take the medication as prescribed," Brim said according to the Chicago Tribune.

For more on this story visit LaGrange Patch.

Do you think past mental illness should potentially disqualify someone from serving as a judge?

Maria Houser Conzemius April 13, 2014 at 05:44 PM
There are LOTS of judges who shouldn't be on the bench, and let's not forget that many of them are white, male, sober, sexist, venal, and unfair. Let's not forget that the Iowa Supreme Court, for example, ruled, not once but twice, that a dentist had the right to fire a dental assistant with an exemplary performance record because the dentist's wife was threatened by the dental assistant's attractiveness and the dentist found himself aroused by her. Unfair and unjust comes in many colors, people.
MoonBeamWatcher April 13, 2014 at 08:52 PM
The 'judge' business is very serious! America has such a shortage of people knowledgable of the law this individual is needed?!
Igor April 14, 2014 at 07:48 AM
Not with the problems she has. The cases will be getting overturned.
Rich April 14, 2014 at 08:03 AM
NO-NO-NO! What happens if she decides again not to take her meds? The courts are supposed to a place of stability and justice. How can it be if the Judges are unstable? She may be a very nice person, my advice, step down as a Judge and resume your law practice.
Nadja Adolf April 14, 2014 at 01:56 PM
If they didn't allow the mentally ill on the bench, what would the Ninth Circuit do for judges?

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