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Barberis files for seat to be vacated on Illinois Supreme Court

Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court Justice John B. Barberis Jr. filed the required papers in Springfield on Monday, December 2, 2019, to place his name on the March 17, 2020, primary ballot for the Illinois Supreme Court election.

Barberis will run as a Republican candidate for the seat being vacated by Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, who announced his retirement, effective in December 2020.

Barberis, a lifelong conservative, promises to continue building on his reputation of setting the highest judicial ethics by maintaining integrity, honesty and impartiality both on and off the bench.

Madison County Treasurer, Chris Slusser, will be JBarberis’ Campaign Chairman.

“Justice Barberis has been an outstanding judge at both the circuit and appellate court level,” Slusser said. “He would bring independent, conservative values to the Illinois Supreme Court. We can always count of Justice Barberis to uphold our constitutionally protected freedoms, like our Second Amendment rights. He’s also committed to protecting the lives of the unborn as well as ensuring that both businesses and individuals get fair and unbiased legal protections. There is no one I’d rather have representing Southern Illinois on our Supreme Court than Justice John Barberis.”

Barberis said he will name additional members to his campaign committee and is grateful that Slusser is supporting him in this campaign.

“I am honored to have such quality people like Chris Slusser on my campaign committee.  He is well respected in Madison County and the entire Metro East region.”

Barberis decided to enter the race for two important reasons, both of which are grounded in his strong, Southern Illinois, conservative values. First, he seeks to protect against future attacks on our constitutionally guaranteed rights, especially our Second Amendment freedoms. Second, he seeks to ensure that only highly qualified individuals with conservative values are appointed as judges throughout the Fifth District. “For the future of Illinois, especially Southern Illinois, it is vitally important that the Supreme Court seat in the Fifth District remain occupied by a conservative republican.”

“I am a strict constitutionalist. In my view, the rights guaranteed in the Constitution are black and white. In other words, I am a firm believer that we should strictly abide by the constitutional language and these words should not be molded to fit any particular agenda or belief. I feel I am very capable of handing down well-reasoned decisions that reflect the conservative values that I share with the people of Southern Illinois. While this is sure to be a difficult contest, I have faced what seemed to be insurmountable odds before and have beaten those odds. After much consideration, I feel I can be successful once again.”

Barberis has served on the Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court since winning a seat in the November 2016 election. He was also selected by Justice Karmeier to be the judge representing the Fifth District on the Illinois Workers Compensation Court and has served in that role for the past three years. In the 2016 election, special interest groups attempted to defeat Justice Barberis by funneling approximately $1.5 million dollars to his Democratic opponent. Justice Barberis spent approximately $30,000 dollars and won the contest by a 56% to 44% margin. Similarly, Justice Barberis successfully ran for the Madison County Circuit Judge position in the November 2014 election. He became only the second Republican candidate in over 100 years to win a Circuit Judge race in Madison County. In that election, Justice Barberis was outspent by his opponent 30 to 1, with Justice Barberis spending less than $5,000, and his opponent spending approximately $150,000. Despite this financial disparity, Justice Barberis won by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin.

“Having never sought an appointment to a judgeship, I owe only the voters who have voted me into office for the judicial roles I have held. In the past, I have avoided accepting campaign donations from lawyers because of the possible perception that I would owe favoritism for those donations. For the sake and reputation of our court system in Illinois, I have made it very clear that my influence and integrity are not for sale at any price.”

Prior to being elected to the bench in 2015, Justice Barberis served his community as a part-time state’s attorney for nearly 15 years and was in private practice for 18 years.  Throughout the course of his career, he has handled cases in many different areas of the law, including family, business formations and general business, personal injury, title work and real estate, traffic and criminal defense, probate, and class action.  As a prosecutor, he handled everything from child support enforcement, traffic and misdemeanor cases to mental health cases. He also served as City Attorney for Collinsville, as Corporate Attorney for Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville and as Zoning Officer for the Village of St. Jacob, Illinois.

Barberis is a lifelong conservative and resident of Madison County, Illinois.  He attended elementary school at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Grade School in Collinsville, Illinois.  He graduated from Collinsville High School in 1986.  Justice Barberis went on to attend and play basketball at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois (College home of former President Ronald Reagan) where he stayed for two years before transferring to Illinois State University (ISU) in Normal, Illinois.  He graduated from ISU with a B.S. degree in Sociology.  After college, Justice Barberis worked for Madison County as a Juvenile Probation Officer where he was the first officer hired to start the Home Detention Program for juvenile offenders.  After two years working for the Madison County Probation Department, he enrolled full-time at St. Louis University School of Law where he received his J.D.

Barberis has been married to his wife, Laura, for 29 years and they have a 23-year-old daughter, Jessica, and 17-year-old twins, John and Jordan. For the past 19 years, Justice Barberis and his family have lived on a small farm outside the Village of St. Jacob.  He has been active in his community as a volunteer youth coach for basketball, baseball and soccer.  He is a member of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Troy, the St. Jacob Lions Club and the St. Jerome chapter of Knights of Columbus, as well as a member of the Edwardsville Gun Club.  As an avid outdoorsman and life member of the NRA, he enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and shooting.  He is an advanced open water certified scuba diver and enjoys diving with his wife and children, who are also certified scuba divers.   Traveling is also a favorite pastime that he enjoys with his family and friends.

His campaign can be reached by email at, or through the campaign’s Facebook page, Justice John Barberis for Illinois Supreme Court.

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