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ELECTIONS 2020 JUDICIAL Associate Judge Mary Cay Marubio on race, reasons
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

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In 2016, Mary Cay Marubio was appointed as a Cook County Associate Judge and is currently running for the O'Brien vacancy (10th Subcircuit) seat.

Marubio was an Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) ethics officer and administrative law judge. Prior to that post, Marubio had her own law practice in the Loop for 15 years with a focus on state and federal criminal defense cases.

Additionally, Marubio is the Alliance of Illinois Judges president, and a member of the Illinois Judges Association board member and Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee. She has been rated highly qualified, qualified, highly recommended or recommended by every bar association that rates judicial candidates.

Windy City Times: Why did you decide to run for this subcircuit seat?

Mary Cay Marubio: I thought it was a really great opportunity to change judgeships. Circuit judges have a slightly louder voice in the judiciary and are the ones who choose the associate judges and chief judge. This vacancy was an opportunity to have a louder voice for myself and the LGBTQ community.

WCT: What kind of cases have you heard as an associate judge? In what ways has your past posts working for the IDFPR and as a member of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee informed how you run your courtroom?

MCM: I was assigned to a domestic-relations courtroom and I heard child support, parentage, allocation of parenting time which used to be called custody and divorce cases. I had a very high volume courtroom.

A bond reform pilot program started in Cook County and Chief Judge Evans was looking for people to move to that court to implement the new program. I volunteered because of my commitment to justice for everyone. Bond reform seeks to replace the use of cash bail with a system that releases those who do not pose a threat and detains those who do. I am on the front line of this reform.

Since September 2017, I have been assigned to the pre-trial division where I preside over preliminary hearings, extradition cases and central bond court. We are open 365 days a year. I hear every type of case from DUI's to first degree murder.

I have always had an interest in legal ethics and a membership with the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee is an incredible thing to have. We meet monthly and answer any ethics questions that judges have and publish materials including a frequently asked questions guide for our website. In terms of how I operate in my courtroom, I expect very high standards from everyone that I work with including being in line with the rules for professional responsibility.

WCT: How has the campaign been so far?

MCM: It has been very fast-paced and invigorating. I am enjoying making connections with people including committeemen and elected officials and learning about community organizations.

WCT: You have four Democratic primary challengers: Audrey Victoria Cosgrove, John Hourihane, Liam Kelly and Daniel Trevino. What makes you stand out among them?

MCM: I have the most judicial experience and am the highest bar rated candidate out of all of us. What is nice about having an associate judge run is I have been vetted already. People know what I am like on the bench including my disposition and demeanor. I have a good reputation for being fair and that also sets me apart from my primary challengers.

WCT: Why do you think it is important to have LGBTQ judges like yourself on the bench?

MCM: Judges make decisions that affect day-to-day lives. They also impact our community on the whole. Having a diverse judiciary that reflects the community and the people we serve all over Cook County is critical to having an independent judiciary and a thriving democracy. We need LGBTQ voices in every branch of government and I would say the judiciary is the branch that has the most day-to-day impact on people's lives.

As a lesbian, I can tell you when I was a young lawyer and would walk into a courtroom I wanted to see someone who looked like me and could identify with. It did not matter if the person was a sheriff, clerk, another attorney or the judge. Seeing ourselves represented in leadership positions is so important. I want more people in our LGBTQ community to get out there and run for judgeship seats at every level because we are underrepresented in the judiciary across the country.

WCT: Any endorsements you want to mention?

MCM: [I have endorsements from] Rep. Jesus "Chuy" García (4th District), Rep. Mike Quigley (5th District), Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th Ward), Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (10th District), the Victory Fund, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnen (12th District), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore, 47th Ward, Personal PAC and Democrats of Northfield Township.

WCT: What else do you think is important for voters to know about you? I see that you have done a number of community service actions.

MCM: My wife, Dante, and I are raising two kids, and that is the thing that motivates me every day. For 25 years, I have been very involved in the community in social services and legal settings but as a judge I had to stop that. I still teach continuing legal education courses for LAGBAC and the Alliance for Illinois Judges. Our mission at the Alliance for Illinois Judges is to promote unbiased treatment of LGBTQ people as it relates to the courtroom among other services.

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